Two government watchdogs, Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) are recommending an investigation of BSkyB’s acquisition of a 17.9% stake in ITV.

Both agencies said the deal should be investigated further by the Competition Commission in recommendations made to Secretary of State of Trade and Industry Alistair Darling, who initiated their investigations in February.

Ofcom stated said the deal challenged the "sufficient plurality of news provision," while the OFT said BSkyB’s stake meant ITV was no longer independent, particularly in the run-up to the 2010 digital switchover.

Both said public interest in the implications of the deal merits additional investigation, while Virgin Media (formed from the merger of NTL:Telewest and Virgin Mobile in July 2006) has said the BSkyB stake in ITV was bought to prevent it from becoming a potential direct rival by acquiring the broadcaster.