BT and Virgin Media slam CC over Sky pay TV probe
BT and Virgin Media have expressed frustration at the Competition Commission's (CC's) decision to clear Sky in its probe of the pay TV movies market.
The watchdog declared that Sky's exclusive rights to first-run movies with all the major Hollywood studios do not represent a sufficient factor in customers' choice of pay TV provider.
However, inquiry group chairman Laura Carstensen admitted competition in the pay TV market as a whole is "ineffective", but stressed that the CC was only instructed by Ofcom to investigate the impact of first-run movie content.
Responding to the verdict, a Virgin Media spokesman said it is "extremely disappointing" that the CC has chosen not to take any further action.
"Until an effective intervention injects real competition into the acquisition of key content rights, British consumers will continue to pay more than they should," he explained.
BT was left equally frustrated by the ruling, insisting that the watchdog misjudged the importance of first subscription pay TV window films and lambasting the failure to "address Sky's monopoly control over these movie rights".
Sky unsurprisingly welcomed the decision, claiming there is "overwhelming evidence" that consumers enjoy the benefits of strong competition between pay TV rivals.