Ofcom has announced that it will not be investigating the BBC-led IPTV venture, YouView, under the Competition Act.
According to ERT Online, the regulator had heard concerns from a number of content providers alleging that the project would give its participants an unfair advantage, especially as the lead company is publicly funded. The plaintiffs included Virgin Media, IP Vision and BSkyB.
Ofcom declined to investigate, citing a number of reasons. Among these were the fact that IPTV is still an emergent market, and so any market influence can not yet be quantified, and that the benefits to customers outweigh competition concerns.
“Ofcom’s view is that consumers’ interests will not be served by opening an investigation. It would be premature at the current stage of YouView’s development given the absence of a clear risk of consumer harm,” said Ofcom’s chief executive, Ed Richards.
“But if evidence does emerge in the future that YouView causes harm to the interests of viewers and consumers we may reconsider whether to investigate.”