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Virgin Media appeals Sky wholesale decision

Virgin Media has launched an appeal against Ofcom’s decision to exclude some of BSkyB’s premium channels from its ‘wholesale must offer’ decision.

In March, the UK communications regulator ruled that Sky must offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 to rival operators for £10.63 (€12.88) per subscriber per month for each channel – a 23.4% reduction on existing prices. However, a legal filing at the Competitions Appeal Tribunal shows Virgin Media is arguing that Ofcom “failed to consider relevant matters in deciding to exclude Sky Sports 3 and/or 4” from the wholesale must offer decision. The cable operator is also concerned that Ofcom didn’t set any controls on the wholesale prices for Sky Sports 1 and/or 2 where they are bundled with other premium channels, including Sky Sports 3 and 4, and Sky’s premium movie channels.

Virgin Media also questioned the methodology used by Ofcom to determine the wholesale price of Sky Sports 1 and 2.

The Competitions Appeal Tribunal will hold a case management conference on June 25 to plan how the case should proceed.

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