BT has made a complaint to Ofcom alleging that the terms on
which BSkyB offers its Sky Sports channels to the YouView platform
constitute abuse of a dominant position, contrary to Article 102 of
the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. BT indicated
that BSkyB has refused to supply Sky Sports 1 & 2 to the
YouView platform unless BT supplies its BT Sport channels wholesale
Ofcom has opened an investigation under section 25 of the
Competition Act 1998, to consider whether BSkyB is in breach of UK
or EU competition law. A decision on interim measures requested by
BT is expected in July.
The complaint was made in the same week that Ofcom ruled on an
earlier complaint made by BT in April that BSkyB unduly
discriminated against it by refusing to air advertising for
BT's new television sports channels on Sky Sports channels,
holding that BSkyB's refusal was justified.
BSkyB refused to advertise BT Sport on Sky Sports, given the
level of their investment in those channels. BT complained that
this was in breach of the Code on the Prevention of Undue
Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers. Ofcom investigated
the complaint and delivered its ruling last week, dismissing the
complaint stating that by refusing to promote a rival's sports
coverage on its sports channels BSkyB was 'pursuing a
legitimate commercial interest'.
BT will be hoping for a decision on their more recent complaint
in advance of the start of the next Premier League season in
August. A positive result for BT would allow them to offer the full
range of live matches on their YouView service, while denying BSkyB
the ability to offer its satellite subscribers coverage of BT's
38 live matches.
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