Feeds

Competition regulator kyboshes Project Kangaroo

Strewth

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Updated BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4's web video on demand plans were sunk by competition regulators this morning, who said their proposed joint venture "Project Kangaroo" would have too much market power.

In its final report on the proposal, the Competition Commission said Project Kangaroo would have control over too much of the original television produced in the UK.

Peter Freeman, chairman of the Competition Commission said: "Without this venture, BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 would be close competitors of each other. We thought that viewers would benefit from better [video on demand] services if the parties — possibly in conjunction with other new and/or already established providers of VOD — competed with each other."

In their preliminary findings in December, regulators suggested ways to ameliorate the potential anti-competitive effects of the venture. Today's decision means none of the measures, including forcing Project Kangaroo to supply competitors with programming on a price-controlled wholesale basis, was found strong enough.

BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 had hoped to repeat the success of the BBC's streaming iPlayer on a commercial basis, by building an ad-supported site to aggregate shows online. In a statement they said: "We are disappointed by the decision to prohibit this joint venture. While this is an unwelcome finding for the shareholders, the real losers from this decision are British consumers. This is a disproportionate remedy and a missed opportunity in the further development of British broadcasting."

During the inquiry, Sky and Virgin Media gave evidence complaining that Project Kangaroo would concentrate too much power over content and stymie their own video on demand efforts.

ITV chairman Sir Michael Grade said ITV remained committed to online services despite today's blow. "In the two years since the idea for Kangaroo was born, the success of ITV.com has proved that our UK content is attractive enough to stand on its own and we remain focussed on our online growth," he said. "We will provide a further update on our online plans with our full year results on March 4."

The Competition Commission's blockade today was apparently foreseen by Ashley Highfield. The ex-BBC technology chief quit Project Kangaroo for Microsoft in November after just four months in charge. ®

Update

The BBC sent this statement:

We are disappointed by today's decision that prevents the partners taking Kangaroo forward. However, we remain absolutely committed to delivering distinctive quality BBC programmes online and will continue to drive innovation through our successful iPlayer platform.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.