OFT Clear Project Canvas; IPTV comes one step closer


News from NMA about the approval of the proposed IPTV service, called Project Canvas, by the OFT.

The proposed IPTV service involves the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva.

Read more: HERE

Project Canvas cleared by OFT
Wed, 19 May 2010 | By Jessica Davies

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will not investigate Project Canvas, the proposed IPTV service between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva

The OFT has ruled that since the seven partners will not be contributing video-on-demand content or transferring any pre-existing businesses to Canvas, it “does not qualify for investigation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002”.

The OFT’s decision means that the propsals for the project will not need to be put to the Competition Comission, unlike Project Kangaroo, which was blocked last year (nma.co.uk 4 Feb 2009).

Sheldon Mills, OFT director of mergers said, “In the context of a start-up joint venture such as Project Canvas, the merger control provisions are designed to capture arrangements leading to the transfer of a pre-existing business. Our investigation has confirmed that the JV partners, including the BBC, do not intend to transfer any existing business into the JV. Therefore, regardless of the potential significance of Project Canvas JV for the future of internet-connected television, the notified proposals do not give rise to a merger qualifying for substantive investigation by the OFT.”

The project will now be put to the BBC Trust for final approval.

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