Broadband TV service won't get grilling from the regulator after competition complaints
YouView, the broadband-enabled TV service previously known as Project Canvas, will not be investigated by Ofcom following complaints that the joint venture could be anti-competitive.
Both Virgin Media and digital entertainment company IP Vision lodged complaints with Ofcom about YouView earlier this year, alleging the service may breach the Competition Act. Eleven other parties also made submissions to the regulator.
Ofcom reported that among the complainants' concerns were that the partners involved in YouView, which include the BBC, Channel 4, Five and ITV, would be incentivised not to share content and that YouView would restrict competition between TV platforms.
Ofcom concluded that too little is known about the emerging broadband-TV industry to be sure what impact YouView will have.
"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," Ed Richards, Ofcom's CEO, said in a statement.
Ofcom also noted that YouView is likely to bring benefits to consumers and viewers, and that any disadvantages to competition will have to weighed against these benefits gained.
However, Richards added: "If evidence does emerge in the future that YouView causes harm to the interests of viewers and consumers we may reconsider whether to investigate."
The YouView broadband TV service is due to be launched early next year.