Ofcom rejects YouView ‘anti-competitive’ complaints


Ofcom will not investigate YouView, despite claims from rivals that the TV-on-demand scheme from BBC, ITV, C4 and Five is anti-competitive. However, You View, previously know as Project Canvas was warned that the communications watchdog will act if it blocks rival platforms and services in future.

YouView is a collaboration of seven broadcasters and telecommunication companies including BBC, ITV, BT and TalkTalk. It plans to use a branded interface to bring on-demand web services to set-top boxes. Set to launch next year, YouView will develop a standard framework from which broadcasters and other providers can build TV-accessible online services, such as BBC iPlayer, and which hardware makers can incorporate.



Virgin Media and IPVision recently launched official complaints against YouView after the BBC Trust approved the corporation's involvement in the scheme. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) also gave the project the green light initially.

Virgin Media had complained that YouView would force other broadcasters to use a "mandated look and feel". It described it as being anti-competitive and said it would "stifle innovation in the broadcasting sector".

Yet Ofcom has said that at the current stage of YouView's development an investigation would be "premature". It added that any impact on competition would have to be outweighed against the benefits that the viewers got from the project.

YouView chief executive officer Richard Halton said: "We have been clear throughout this process that YouView will stimulate competition in the TV platform market and create opportunities for content providers and device manufacturers. We therefore welcome this decision from Ofcom."

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