Virgin plays chicken with Sky

Virgin Media is threatening to take Sky to court to resolve the dispute over payment for some Sky channels that until last week were part of Virgin's TV service.

While Virgin says that attempts to get Sky back to the negotiating table have failed, Sky has told Virgin that its terms - 3p per customer per day - are still available. Virgin Media has continually rejected these rates as they are almost double what it was previously paying.

"We will not allow our customers to be the victim of Sky's market power. In the interest of the consumer, we want these issues resolved quickly," said Steve Burch, chief executive of Virgin Media.

Sky has been formally advised by Virgin Media that it will begin legal proceedings in 30 days if a deal cannot be struck.

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