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Office of Fair Trading launches BSkyB inquiry

The Office of Fair Trading has launched a full-scale competition enquiry into the prices UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB is charging rivals to carry its premium pay-TV channels on their platforms following a change in legislation in March.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – The Office of Fair Trading has launched a full-scale competition enquiry into the prices UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB is charging rivals to carry its premium pay-TV channels on their platforms following a change in legislation in March.

The new legislation allows firms to be investigated under the Competition Act, which attempts to prevent firms from gaining a monopoly in their markets.

BSkyB has a dominant position in the programming market particularly with its sports and movie channels. The investigation, which has been requested by rival digital broadcaster ONdigital, will determine whether the News Corporation-owned broadcaster is abusing this position.

If it is found to be in breach of the Act it could be fined up to 10% of its UK turnover since March -– when the Act came into force.

Carlton and Granada joint venture ONdigital claims that the wholesale price it pays to offer Sky channels on its platform are too close to subscriber retail prices. This, it says, leaves it little room to make any profits from the sale.



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