Belfast Telegraph

BSkyB monopoly is 'no threat'

By Graeme Evans

A watchdog has ruled BSkyB's monopoly over Hollywood Studios does not harm competition in the pay-TV market.

The Competition Commission said it believed consumers attached more importance to having access to a broad range of content and price, than they do to seeing the most recent movie content.

It said the launch of services by US firm Netflix and Lovefilm meant consumers had a wider choice than when the Commission launched its investigation two years ago.

In provisional findings in August 2011, the watchdog ruled that Sky's deals with six of the big film studios over the rights to show films on television restricted competition. The commission revised this view in May and confirmed yesterday that it will not be taking any action on the issue.

While it said competition in the pay-TV market overall remained ineffective, it concluded that first-pay movie content does not provide Sky with an advantage when competing for pay-TV subscribers.

Chairwoman Laura Carsten-sen, said: "Consumers have a much greater choice than they had a couple of years ago".

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