Competition Commission probes video on demand joint venture

The Office of Fair Trading has referred Project Kangaroo, the joint video-on-demand venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, to the Competition Commission, forcing the service to put launch plans on hold. The initial investigation was made due to potential competition concerns regarding the online VOD service.

In a joint statement, the three broadcasters have voiced their frustration over the decision, although they maintain that they remain committed to the venture and are confident it will go ahead.

They add that once the Competition Commission process is complete, each broadcaster will liaise with its board for approval, while the BBC Worldwide will liaise with the BBC Trust, its decision-making body.

ITV executive chairman Michael Grade (pictured) says: “While I understand that the Office of Fair Trading is carrying out its statutory obligations, there is a serious problem with a regulatory framework that seems unable to take the most important interest into account – that of British viewers.

“This venture has been delayed by a reference to the Competition Commission, at the very same time that non-UK companies like Google and Apple are free to build market dominating positions on line in the UK without so much as a regulatory murmur.”

If it goes ahead, Project Kangaroo will allow viewers to download digital versions of the broadcasters’ programmes. The idea is to have the service initially available via the web, with a view of eventually having its content delivered direct to TV screens.

Latest from Marketing Week

Marketoonist on whack-an-idea

Marketoonist

Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here