Virgin and BT fury at premium movie ruling
Friday 03 August 2012
BT and Virgin Media reacted angrily yesterday after the Competition Commission confirmed it would not intervene in the pay-TV market for premium movies, giving a major boost to the leading player, BSkyB.
The telecoms giant BT said the commission's decision "flies in the face of BT's experience as a retailer and the experience of other retailers".
Meanwhile, Virgin Media described the watchdog's ruling as "extremely disappointing".
The commission's ruling that Sky's position "does not adversely affect competition" is the final decision in a two-year marathon inquiry and marks a major U-turn.
Until this year, the regulator had appeared to agree with BT and Virgin which argued that Sky distorted the market because it had exclusive deals with all of the big six Hollywood studios, including Disney and Fox.
BT and Virgin, which have their own pay-TV services, claimed the result was that the wholesale price which Sky charged them to carry its Sky Movies channels was too high.
But the regulator said in the spring that new film websites such as NetFlix and LoveFilm had dramatically changed the market and introduced more competition for the most prestigious rights. These rights are known as the first subscription pay-TV window – a fixed period after the initial cinema box-office release.
A Sky spokesman welcomed the ruling, saying: "Sky considers there to be overwhelming evidence that UK consumers are well served by strong competition between a growing number of TV providers."
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police
Scottish independence referendum live - The reunited kingdom: Scotland gives a clear 'No' to independence in historic referendum
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...