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IP Vision makes Canvas complaint to Ofcom

UK hybrid broadband/digital-terrestrial TV service provider IP Vision has added its voice to that of Virgin Media in calling for Ofcom to investigate whether the Canvas joint venture will stifle competition.

Eddie Abrams, CEO of IP Vision, which delivers Freeview digital-terrestrial channels combined with the broadband-delivered Fetch TV service, including video-on-demand service as well as BSkyB’s Sky Player and the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service to TVs using set-top boxes supplied by Netgem, said: “As a leader in this nascent sector in the UK, we are all in favour of healthy competition that benefits both the industry and consumers. However, this group of industry Goliaths, supported in part by BBC licence fee funds, will have the power to dominate the sector – even though what Canvas will offer will not be superior to solutions already on the market. Surely this can’t be good for the UK television industry or for the consumer?”

Abrams said he was concerned that Canvas would restrict competition and innovation through setting requirements for the user interface and branding, thus crowding out third-party services and applications.