Overview of Ofcom's Recent Decision Requiring Sky to Wholesale its Premium Sports Channels to Competing Retail Operators in the UK
Ciaran Walker, Fomerly Senior Competition Counsel, BT, UK
On 31 March 2010, Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, issued a Statement, requiring BSkyB Limited (‘Sky’) to wholesale certain of its premium sports channels to competing operators in the UK at wholesale terms and conditions, including price, regulated by Ofcom.
Ofcom’s Statement, which follows an investigation of pay TV in the UK lasting over 3 years, raises complex and interesting legal and policy issues relating to the circumstances in which an undertaking, which has invested significant sums in developing highly-valued property (in this case, premium sports channels), should be required by law to make this property available to third parties on a wholesale basis.
This article provides an overview of some of the main issues raised in Ofcom’s investigation.
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