Ofcom has announced it will not open an investigation into YouView (formally Project Canvas), under the Competition Act following complaints made by Virgin Media and IP Vision.
Virgin Media and IP Vision submitted complaints to Ofcom that alleged potential breaches of the Competition Act 1998. Ofcom also received submissions from 11 other parties, including BSkyB. The complainants raised a number of concerns, including that the Project, to be launched as YouView, has not developed open standards with industry and is likely to restrict competition between TV platforms.
Ofcom stated that it would be 'premature' to open an investigation because IPTV is an emerging sector and the impact of YouView on the market will not be known for some time.
In a statement Ofcom said: "We do not propose to open a Competition Act investigation, however Ofcom will continue to monitor developments, particularly in relation to YouView's approach to sharing standards and its effects on content syndication. If evidence emerges that the operation of YouView could cause harm to viewers and consumers in the future, Ofcom may reconsider whether to investigate."
In response to Ofcom's decision, YouView CEO Richard Halton said:
"We have been clear throughout this process that YouView will stimulate competition in the TV platform market and create opportunities for content providers and device manufacturers. Most importantly it represents a great consumer proposition. We therefore welcome this decision from Ofcom.
"In a market dominated by pay services, we are creating the only mass market IPTV service that will be subscription free. All our efforts are now focused on launching a brilliant consumer product for launch next year. We look forward to broadening our engagement with wider industry partners over the coming weeks and months."
DTG Staff | 19.10.2010