OFT stops inquiry into Project Canvas

The Office of Fair Trading said a joint venture aimed at giving internet access to digital TV falls outside its jurisdiction yesterday, dealing a blow to critics of the venture such as pay-TV firms. Project Canvas plans to bring video on-demand programming without subscription to viewers. Its backers include the BBC, the commercial groups ITV, Channel 4 and Five and the telecoms groups BT and Talk Talk.

An earlier attempt at forming a joint video on demand platform between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, called Project Kangaroo, was blocked by competition regulators to prevent it from becoming too powerful. The OFT said in March it would look into Project Canvas. Yesterday it said the project fell outside its remit because none of the partners were contributing a pre-existing business. Reuters