NTL Scraps U.K. Soccer Bid


London -- NTL Inc. said it abandoned its effort to buy
British soccer club Newcastle United after the country's regulators quashed British
Sky Broadcasting Group plc's planned $1 billion acquisition of Manchester United.

"We're clearly disappointed in the circumstances
that have led us to this decision." NTL CEO Barclay Knapp said in a prepared

NTL, Britain's No. 3 MSO, bought 6.3 percent of
Newcastle United in December, and it planned to acquire the rest of the team's

The offer was thrown into question earlier this month,
after Britain's secretary of state for trade and industry rejected direct-to-home
operator BSkyB's bid for Man U. NTL's bid was then referred to the
country's Competition Commission.