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BSkyB Acquires Easynet Broadband

BSkyB has ended days of speculation by confirming it has agreed a �211m takeover deal with the board of broadband firm Easynet.

Easynet will form part of a new BSkyB division, Sky Broadband, signalling the satellite broadcaster's determination to compete in the fast growing high-speed internet market against BT, cable operators NTL and Telewest, and other internet service providers.

The satellite broadcaster said it had received undertakings accepting its offer from Easynet directors and shareholders representing 21.8% of the firm's issued shares. "Easynet innovative network and technological expertise perfectly complement Sky's strengths in programming and in making technologies easy to use," the BSkyB chief executive, James Murdoch, said.

"We see value for families in moving well beyond just another triple play [of broadband, TV and telephone] to offer a new level of connected entertainment and communications," Mr Murdoch added.

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