Feeds

Commercial iPlayer faces anti-trust shakedown

BBC, ITV, C4 joint venture delayed

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Project Kangaroo, the commercial on-demand web TV service being developed by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, will be investigated by the Competition Commission amid concern that it could stifle rival online efforts.

The probe will run for up to 24 weeks, and could mean the joint venture is forced to supply competing services with content at capped prices. ITV said today the launch of the "one stop shop" for UK online TV would be delayed by the Competition Commission's evidence gathering.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) today referred Project Kangaroo to anti-trust scrutineers following submissions from Sky and Virgin Media. They argued that the three main terrestrial broadcasters could use their public service programme making subsidies to unfairly dominate the TV audience and advertisers on the web.

The OFT agreed that Project Kangaroo's exclusive access to publicly funded TV warrants further investigation. The Competition Commission will look at whether "the concentration of these important and competing libraries of UK TV programming may give market power to the joint venture".

In its statement, the OFT speculated that Project Kangaroo might be able abuse that power to inflate prices and restrict how consumers are able to access shows online.

ITV chairman Michael Grade criticised the OFT's decision. "While I understand that the Office of Fair Trading is carrying out its statutory obligations," he said in a statement, "there is a serious problem with a regulatory framework that seems unable to take the most important interest into account - that of British viewers".

"This venture has been delayed by a reference to the Competition Commission, at the very same time that non-UK companies like Google and Apple are free to build market-dominating positions online in the UK without so much as a regulatory murmur."

He charged that ITV, the BBC and Channel 4's broadcasting rivals were trying to piggyback on their investment in web TV while contributing virtually nothing to the UK's creative economy.

When Project Kangaroo does eventually emerge it'll be run by the BBC's departing new media chief Ashley Highfield, reportedly under the monicker "SeeSaw". Don't expect it to surface until 2009. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?