BT and BSkyB are poised to announce the formation of a long awaited #500 million joint venture to create an interactive television system, according to reports in 'The Sunday Telegraph'.
The venture, called British Interactive Broadcasting, will pull BT and BSkyB together with Matsushita and Midland Bank. It will subsidise purchase of set-top boxes, needed to receive digital television, and develop a range of interactive services including Internet banking and shopping.
Oftel is expected to give the offical go-ahead to the companies later this week. A BT spokesperson said: ?It is no secret that we have been in discussions but there is nothing firm to talk about at this stage.?
BT and BSkyB will each invest #150 miilion in the venture in return for a 30 per cent stake each. Matsushita, which will manufacture a high proportion of the set-top boxes, and Midland are both taking 20 per cent stakes for #100 million each.
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