Outlook: BSkyB/Man Utd
Saturday 13 February 1999
Nevertheless, even Mr Rogers' most vehement critics would not have thought the ITC capable of such a spectacular own goal by letting it be known that it had opposed British Sky Broadcasting's takeover of Manchester United in its submissions to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Of course, as the official regulator the ITC is entitled to its opinion on the subject. Unfortunately, it is not clear that Mr Rogers' view is entirely shared by his officials. In a hurried statement issued yesterday, the ITC argued that although it believed the takeover needed "careful investigation" a decision on the outcome of the enquiry was "a matter for the MMC alone."
It seems that, while the ITC put forward a particular case in its submissions to the MMC, Mr Rogers embellished on those views when the panel asked him to explain them.
Mr Rogers has already crossed BSkyB once when the ITC forced the satellite broadcaster to withdraw from the winning consortium for the licence to operate digital terrestrial television. The odds on him surviving in his job beyond next week - when the ITC's main board meets - must be slim.
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