Brooke meets ITV chiefs

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PETER BROOKE, Secretary of State for National Heritage, said yesterday that it would be difficult but not impossible to extend the moratorium on takeovers of ITV companies, due to expire at the end of this year, writes Michael Leapman.

He told the chairmen of the 16 ITV companies summoned to discuss the matter in his Whitehall office that because the moratorium was part of the 1990 Broadcasting Act, a new Bill would be needed to amend it.

He said it was possible that a Bill could go through Parliament before the end of the year if it had all-party agreement, but made no commitment.