Sky Movies cleared in competition investigation
Sky's grip on the pay TV movies market does not adversely affect competition, a watchdog has ruled.
In its final report on the matter, the Competition Commission (CC) concluded that Sky Movies is not a sufficient factor in customers' choice of TV provider, despite holding the rights to the first run of pay TV movies from all the major Hollywood studios.
According to the CC, more consumers are concerned about other service attributes - such as price and the ability to access a broad range of content - than seeing all of the latest film releases.
Furthermore, competition and customer choice have been boosted by the launch of streaming services LOVEFiLM and Netflix, reflecting a growing trend for the delivery of content via the web, the report explained.
Sky's decision to introduce Sky Movies to its newly launched subscription-free online television service Now TV also increases the options available to consumers.
Laura Carstensen, chairman of the inquiry group, said: "It is clear that consumers now have a much greater choice than they had a couple of years ago when our investigation began."
She added that competition in the pay TV market remains "ineffective", but noted the CC was only asked by Ofcom to examine the role of first-run movie content.