Business tycoon SIR Richard Branson is launching new company Virgin Media in a bid to challenge the dominance of Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch's TV network BSkyB in the UK.

The British billionaire is finalising the details of a $7.5 billion (GBP4.2 billion) merger between his Virgin Mobile company and media service provider NTL which will give him a powerful position in the future of the media.

A leading media analyst tells British newspaper the Daily Mail, "This will completely change the media and technology landscape. Nothing like this has ever happened anywhere in the world.

"This new company will operate across four platforms: TV, the internet, mobile phones and fixed line phones.

"People will have the opportunity to get a single bill covering all these services. There will also be scope to offer lower prices."