UK satellite TV broadcaster BSkyB has finalised its acquisition of broadband internet service provider Easynet.

The £211 million ($373m; €311m) deal, first mooted early last week [WAMN: 18-Oct-05], will allow Sky, headed by James Murdoch, to offer customers the 'triple play' services of TV, telephony and broadband.

The company issued a surprise £1 billion bond to finance the move, which will allow it to compete directly with soon-to-merged cable rivals NTL and Telewest.

Comments Murdoch: "We've reached a point where integration into a home entertainment platform will be both viable and attractive to customers and we expect to see rapid convergence between pay-TV penetration in the marketplace and broadband penetration."

Easynet has invested heavily in the unbundling of telecoms giant BT's local phone loop. It has its own equipment in 250 local BT exchanges, giving it direct access to 4.4m homes and 850,000 businesses in the UK, mainly in larger metropolitan areas.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff