Upping the stakes in its rivalry with Virgin Media, News Corp.-controlled BSkyB will acquire the broadband and fixed-line telephone business of Telefonica UK making Sky the second-largest broadband provider in the market. The company is adding more than half a million subscribers via the deal for about 4.7M total, which puts it about 200,000 ahead of Virgin – itself the subject of a takeover by John Malone’s Liberty Global. Sky is paying £180M for Telefonica’s consumer broadband, home phone and line rental customers and up to £20M in contingency fees. The acquisition, expected to complete in April, is subject to regulatory clearance.

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