UTV takeover approved

Tánaiste Mary Harney has given the go-ahead for the £31m takeover of County Media by UTV under national mergers and takeovers legislation. Last Monday, the Irish Radio and Television Commission blocked the bid because it ran contrary to their policy on local and diverse ownership within the broadcast sector – including the IRTC’s 27% ownership guideline. Both County Media and UTV have issued statements saying they are awaiting clarification of the decision from the IRTC before deciding their next moves. County Media owns three radio stations in Co Cork, 96FM, County Sound North in Mallow and County Sound West in Bandon.