BSkyB, Ladbrokes won’t gamble on joint venture

Move follows launch of investigation by U.K.'s Competition Commission

LONDON — Satcaster BSkyB and bookmaker Ladbrokes have nixed plans to set up a joint venture interactive TV gambling service.

The move follows the launch last week of an investigation of the proposed venture by the U.K.’s Competition Commission (Daily Variety, Oct. 10).

The companies, which agreed to a deal in principle last July, said the business was abandoned for commercial reasons and that the referral to the regulator was only a factor.

The venture would have combined Ladbrokes’ soccer betting business with BSkyB’s bookmaking arm, Surrey Sports. Ladbrokes would have invested £30 million ($43.4 million).

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