A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that the BBC's online activities would be subjected to an investigation along the lines of former Financial Times editor Richard Lambert's grilling of News 24. No date has been set for the start of the investigation and no-one has been appointed to oversee it, but the DCMS spokesman said the department was looking to take this forward as soon as possible.
A spokeswoman for ITN welcomed the news: 'The News 24 investigation should provide a model for looking at all BBC services. We've never really had an open and honest discussion about what BBC online is for. We need to look at the original outlines of what they're doing as well as a study of what impact they have had on the market.'
ITN first objected when the BBC did a deal with Cellnet to provide news to mobile phone users on the move. This conflicted with a deal between Orange and ITN - because ITN wanted to charge for its content.
Lambert's News 24 review, which was finally released last week, revealed that while the BBC was justified in launching the service it needed to make various editorial adjustments to ensure it was distinct from commercial rivals such as Sky.