Ofcom to investigate TV advert pricing

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The Independent Online

The media watchdog Ofcom has begun an investigation into the £4bn a year television advertising industry over fears it could be anti-competitive.

Ofcom launched its review of the UK's television advertising trading market after identifying three concerns that could distort the buying and selling of ads. The consultation will close next month, with the regulator announcing in the autumn whether it will be referred to the Competition Commission.

Ofcom is worried that the pricing of adverts is less than transparent, which "may make it difficult for advertisers to make meaningful and informed price comparisons between channels". It is also worried that selling advertising in bundles for peak and off-peak viewing could affect competition.

It is also concerned that buying and selling advertising has not "alteredsignificantly in nearly 20 years".