You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cabler NTL mulls boosting mobile bid

Some Virgin minority investors hoping for higher price

Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report.

London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks.

Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal with NTL, but some minority investors on the board want a higher price. It remains to be seen if 10% would change their minds.

Branson would retain about 15% of the combined company, which would offer British subscribers “four-play” mobile and fixed-line phone services along with broadband Internet and television.

U.K. regulator the Office of Fair Trading cleared NTL’s $5.78 billion takeover of rival Telewest on Friday. The OFT said there was no justification for referring the deal, intended to provide serious competition for the U.K.’s leading paybox, BSkyB, to the Competition Commission.

The OFT said NTL’s and Telewest’s local networks did not overlap or compete in providing cable services.

NTL recently appointed American cable topper Stephen Burch as its CEO.

The watchdog also greenlit BSkyB’s $358 million purchase of Internet company Easynet. The OFT said the acquisition would benefit customers by providing a triple play of TV, phone and Internet services for the first time.

Competitors had raised concerns about BSkyB’s potential for blocking the supply of pay TV content to rivals, it said. But the regulator ruled that since BSkyB already has the potential to do this, the merger “does not materially alter its incentives.”

NTL and Telewest, both listed on the Nasdaq, have customers in about 5 million U.K. households, compared with 8 million for BSkyB.

(United Press Intl. contributed to this report.)

More Scene

  • Tesse Restaurant Opens on L.A.'s Sunset

    Tesse Restaurant Takes on the Challenge of Making the Sunset Strip Hip Again

    Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report. London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks. Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal […]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report. London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks. Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report. London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks. Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report. London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks. Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal […]

  • Yara ShahidiMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    Yara Shahidi, Noah Schnapp, More Talk the Dangers of Social Media at MTV Awards

    Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report. London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks. Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal […]

  • A Night in the Writers' Room

    Parity Takes Center Stage at Variety's 'A Night in the Writers' Room' Drama Panel

    Analysts were waiting Tuesday to see if NTL would increase its bid for Virgin Mobile, as predicted in a weekend newspaper report. London’s Sunday Times said NTL, Britain’s largest cable operator, would boost its $1.4 billion offer for Virgin by 10% sometime in the coming weeks. Virgin Mobile majority owner Richard Branson backs a deal […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content