ITV drops ITN takeover plan

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    Johnnie
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    Johnnie
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    Digital TV Group+–>(Digital TV Group)
    ITV has reportedly dropped plans to take control of its news provider ITN, which last week announced a restructuring and new investment for its digital archive operation, re-named ITN Source.

    ITV chief executive Charles Allen was understood to be talking down the value of ITN by threatening to set up a wholly owned news division unless other shareholders?the Daily Mail & General Trust, United Business Media and Reuters (which each have a 20% stake)?sold their stakes.

    But according to sources contacted by MediaGuardian ITV has quietly dropped that strategy, focussing instead on moves to return cash to shareholders and beat the advertising downturn.

    Last week ITN said new investment of more than ?1m would be spent accelerating the growth of its digital archive and 3G broadband services.

    Meanwhile ITV is said to be close to announcing a major deal with an unidentified mobile phone operator to broadcast programmes to handsets via 3G. The Business newspaper said the deal was due to have been unveiled last week, but was delayed

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