Sky Movies monopoly probe scrapped as rivals turn up
Competition Commission U-turns at sight of LoveFilm, Netflix
The Competition Commission has called off the attack dogs against Sky's movie business, for now. The regulator has revised its views following the entry of Amazon's LoveFilm and Netflix into the pay-movie market.
A provisional decision made last August decreed that Sky had a monopoly on running movies first in the UK, which it calculated cost punters an extra £60m to £70m a year. The regulator says this window of opportunity to show new films is no longer particularly important to consumers.
"Competition between providers of movie services on pay TV has changed materially and, as a result of these changes, consumers now have much greater choice," said Laura Carstensen, who led the Commission's investigation.
"LoveFilm and Netflix offer services which are attractive to many consumers and they appear sufficiently well-resourced to be in a position to improve the range and quality of their content further."
She pointed out that Sky is about to offer Sky Movies over IP on a service now branded Now TV, unbundled from the usual Sky subscription.
Ofcom spent three years investigating Sky's movie business before chucking the problem at the Competition Commission.
Christensen did complain that the terms of reference handed to her were too narrow, pointing out Sky still had a grip on first-window movie runs. It's hardly an iron grip, though. Bid more money than Sky, and you get the movies. Perhaps someone in Silicon Valley might eventually consider that's money well spent, rather than spending cash on building a space elevator, or filling the hot tub with champagne. ®
Actually, I'd much rather see someone build a space elevator than another IP TV/movie service.
"It's hardly an iron grip, though. Bid more money than Sky, and you get the movies. Perhaps someone in Silicon Valley might eventually consider that's money well spent"
Great so let start bidding wars on services leading to (more?) outrageous fees and draconian DRM for everything. Then there will be even more of those nasty freetard pirates that Andrew is always banging on about. But then again big media can do no wrong in your eyes hey?
You only have look at the rediculous money in football/Sky sports to see where this would end up.
And so it continues...
I find it very strange how any facet of UK establishment takes every opportunity to shy away from anything to do with Murdoch-related enterprises. Why should it be so, I wonder?
Why is there
Only one Competition Commission?
We need the Competition Commission to investigate
What was the question
Do Sky still have a monopoly in broadcast?
Is the competition in streaming over the internet a distraction from this question?