British TV Company to Buy Virgin Media

    Virgin Media Stores. exterior and interior by Tom Oldham Feb 2010

    Virgin Media store in Enfield, London. (Virgin Media)

    Will this stop Rupert Murdoch’s tweeting? Britain’s Liberty Group struck a deal to buy cable-television provider Virgin Media for $16 billion in cash—a move that will pose a direct challenge to Rupert Murdoch in Europe’s pay-TV market. The deal puts John Malone's Liberty in a dead heat with Comcast as the world’s biggest cable company—and opens a new competition with Murdoch, whose satellite provider BSkyB is Britain’s largest pay-TV company. Malone made his fortune in the U.S. by consolidating the cable industry into just a few providers, but he still has a way to go before taking over Britain: Virgin Media has just 4.9 million customers, compared with BSkyB’s 10.7 million.

    Read it at Reuters