NTL complains about Sky as it drops plans for ITV
The statement reads: "NTL announces that it has no present intention of making an offer for ITV, as it believes a transaction between ITV and NTL is unlikely to be attained on terms acceptable to NTL."
But the company has complained to the Office of Fair Trading about BSkyB's recent acquisition of 17.9% of ITV, a move that finally scuppered NTL plans to takeover ITV.
NTL believes that BSkyB's stake creates a material influence over the way ITV does its business and that this impacts on competition.
"It presents serious competition and public interest issues. The fact that Sky would spend nearly $2 billion to acquire its stake immediately following the mere announcement of NTL's proposed combination, before the ITV board had an opportunity to respond, highlights the magnitude of the competition issues involved," NTL said.
But the OFT have confirmed in some reports that it is no longer obligated to investigate now NTL has withdrawn its interest in ITV.
The cable company had previously submitted a complaint to media regulator Ofcom, which is currently investigating BSkyB's stake in ITV.
NTL, which is to be renamed Virgin Media in the new year, said it could bid again in if ITV's situation changed. Under city rules, it must wait 6 months before it can make any kind of move, but might if BSkyB sold its stake in ITV, a third-party made a bid for the broadcaster, or if ITV welcomed NTL back to the table.