Competition Appeal Tribunal upheld Sky’s appeal of Ofcom’s pay TV decision

On 8 August 2012, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) issued a non-confidential extract from its judgement on the appeals by Sky, Virgin Media, BT and the Premier League of Ofcom’s decision in the pay TV market, which required Sky to offer wholesale access to its premium sports channels.

The CAT found that Ofcom’s core competition concern around Sky deliberately withholding wholesale supply of premium channels was unfounded. In particular, it considered that Ofcom has misinterpreted evidence in respect of the commercial negotiations between Sky and others, and that Sky had generally engaged constructively in its negotiations.

The CAT also found that evidence did not support a number of Ofcom’s findings, in particular in relation to the terms of supply to Virgin Media and the impact on Virgin Media’s competitiveness.

The CAT has, therefore, upheld Sky’s appeal and has not found it necessary to consider the other grounds of appeal raised, notably in respect of the terms of the wholesale must offer remedy imposed.

DotEcon has been providing expert economic advice to a media client over the course of this appeal.

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