Competition Commission U-turn on Movies on Pay TV Investigation

On 2 August 2012, the Competition Commission (CC) issued its final report on its market investigation into movies on pay TV.  In this, the CC upheld the view it expressed in its revised provisional findings in which it made a complete U-turn on its initial findings of adverse effects on competition.  It has now confirmed this U-turn by claiming in its final report that there are no adverse effects on competition arising from the supply and acquisition of subscription pay TV movie rights in the first subscription pay TV window (FSPTW) of major studios or the wholesale supply and acquisition of packages including certain premium movies channels.

The CC concluded that, although Sky has market power in the pay TV retail market, FSPTW content on Sky Movies is not significant to consumer choice and the content did not give Sky a significant advantage over its rivals. The CC also considered that developments such as the launch of standalone over the top (OTT) services by Netflix and LOVEFiLM and the launch of Now TV by Sky meant that, in the future, an OTT pay TV retailer could outbid Sky for FSPTW rights of at least one major studio. However, the CC did note that it expects that Ofcom will keep developments in the sector under review.

DotEcon has been providing support to a media client over the course of this investigation.

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