UK Competition Commission Reverses Sky Movies Decision

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BSkyB has had some good news following the UK Competition Commission’s decision that Sky Movies’ agreements with Hollywood Studios do not give it a significant advantage over its PayTV rivals.

Previously, the Commission had said that Sky Movies did have a dominant position in the market. But now it is recommending that no action needs to be taken to level the playing field in the first subscription PayTV window.

The chief explanation for the volte face is the rise of Netflix and Amazon-owned Lovefilm. In a statement, the Commission explained: “This is a reversal of the original provisional finding published in August 2011 but reflects the evidence now available. In particular, Netflix launched in the UK in January 2012 and, since the original provisional findings, Lovefilm has enhanced significantly its Internet-distributed movie offering.”

Not surprisingly, the decision has incurred the wrath of rival PayTV platform Virgin Media which says the emergence of providers such as LoveFilm and Netflix has done nothing to impact Sky’s advantage.”


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