Sky faces attack on film rights

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BSkyB is set to lose its "stranglehold" on Hollywood blockbusters shown on pay-TV after the UK's competition watchdog ruled it unfairly dominated the market.

The regulator calculated that customers were being overcharged to the tune of £60m a year.

The Competition Commission said yesterday that Sky's control over pay-TV movie rights in Britain "is restricting competition between pay-TV providers, leading to higher prices and reduced choice and innovation for subscribers".

Insiders at Sky, whose forthcoming movies include Tron: Legacy, Inception (left) and The Town, spoke of their bemusement at the preliminary findings and vowed to fight it "pretty hard".

The commission opened its inquiry into pay-TV movie rights last August amid concerns that Sky holds the exclusive rights to movies from all six major Hollywood studios in the first subscription window for pay-TV.