British TV giants Carlton Communications and Granada Media are planning a “shadow board” to ease the passage of their controversial merger.

The duo – the two dominant shareholders in commercial network ITV – should discover this week whether the deal will be referred to the Competition Commission. Media observers are placing heavy bets that it will.

However, regulatory scrutiny is not the only threat the pact faces: there are still several major issues on which the two firms themselves could disagree. As such, Granada is eager to set up a board of executives to remove these obstacles.

Such topics would include the identity of the new entity’s management, as the relationship between the two firms’ chairmen, Michael Green (Carlton) and Charles Allen (Granada), is far from easy.

Other issues include executive pay packages and the possibility that a merged ITV would be an attractive takeover target for an overseas (i.e. US) media giant.

Proposed members of this “shadow board” have not been identified, though both firms boast City veterans within their directorial ranks.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff