On 19 August 2011, the Competition Commission (CC) announced provisional findings in respect of its market investigation into movies on pay TV. The CC provisionally found that Sky’s market power in the pay TV retail market gives rise to barriers to the acquisition of first subscription
pay TV window (FSPTW) movie rights, and Sky’s control of the acquisition of the rights gives rise to it controlling almost all FSPTW movie content in the wholesale market. The CC found that this in turn adversely affects competition between pay TV retailers, and is leading to higher prices and reduced choice and innovation for subscribers. The CC is also consulting
on possible remedies to address the adverse effect on competition. These include remedies that would restrict the number of major studios from which Sky may license exclusive FSPTW rights, restrict the range of exclusive rights that Sky may license from the major studios, a possible “must sell” remedy requiring Sky to acquire on a wholesale basis and market to its retail customers products incorporating FSPTW movie content created by other parties.
DotEcon is currently providing support to a media client in respect of this CC investigation.