Satellites

Murdoch's BSkyB buys Easynet for $373.1 million

MUMBAI: Rupert Murdoch-controlled UK satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting has finally sealed the acquisition of high-speed internet provider Easynet Group. BSkyB has bought the telecom firm for $373.1 million.

The acquisition allows BSkyB to offer broadband, video-on-demand and telephony services, allowing it to compete more directly with cable firms NTL and Telewest, as well as British Telecom. BSkyB wanted to acquire a broadband telco and is prepared to invest in Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in a bid to provide phone and broadband services to its direct to end users.

Media reports had earlier quoted BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch as saying that BSkyB offered to pay 175 pence in cash for each Easynet share, or 38 per cent more than yesterday's closing price of 127 pence. Easynet directors recommended shareholders accept the offer.

``About 47 percent of Sky customers currently have broadband, and almost the balance will be making a decision about broadband in the next few years," Murdoch had said.

BSkyB has said it plans to move to a hybrid broadband and satellite distribution model. "This positions Sky very well to take a leading position in what we think is a very attractive and fast growing segment of the market," media reports said quoting James Murdoch.

 

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