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Sky complains to Ofcom and OFT over YouView

Complaint over TV on demand service

Sky has lodged a compliant with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Ofcom regarding YouView.

YouView, which was formerly known as Project Canvas, is a BBC-backed TV on demand venture, which will see internet-connected set-top boxes offering seven days worth of catch-up TV, along with free archive shows, apps and widgets. TV providers signed up to take part include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

It is thought Sky has raised concerns over the effect YouView will have on competition. In particular that it members of the project will be unlikely to create innovative TV on demand services themselves.

"We submitted some thoughts jointly to Ofcom and the OFT yesterday. We are not making our submission public," Sky told The Telegraph.

In March the OFT announced it planned to investigate the venture following complaints from Sky and Virgin Media. However, in May the OFT said the project did not qualify for investigation under the section of the Enterprise Act that governs mergers.

However, it is thought Ofcom will delay announcing whether it plans to make a full investigation into YouView, while it considers Sky's complaint.

"While we welcome justifiable scrutiny, the timing of this submission is clearly designed to extend the regulatory process in pursuit of commercial self-interest rather than the public interest," said YouView CEO Richard Halton.

"We encourage Ofcom to take this wider view as they continue their consideration."

See also: BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & Five launch YouView digital TV


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