Outlook: Fever pitch

JUST SIX days after the DTI took delivery of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report on BSkyB's bid for Manchester United, speculation on what's in it is already at fever pitch. Another newspaper had it yesterday that the MMC had ruled the bid to be against the public interest, and that furthermore, there were no remedies Sky could offer that would address these concerns. We'll see.

What is probably true, however, is that this is the Office of Fair Trading's view. The independent regulators, from the ITC to the OFT, seem united in believing this a very anti-competitive deal. Given that it is the OFT and its director-general, John Bridgeman, that would be charged with negotiating any suggested remedies, this could pose a severe problem for Sky and its advisers. Even so, the market would be silly to think we are any nearer knowing the outcome of this saga than we were last week.