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YouView opponents respond to Ofcom rejection of investigation

Opponents of the BBC-led YouView connected TV project have expressed their disappointment with regulator Ofcom’s decision not to investigate the proposed service, with cable operator Virgin Media reportedly weighing its options to mount some sort of appeal against the decision.

It is likely that any further move by the cable operator would involve an attempt to initiate a judicial review, as there is no formal appeal process against Ofcom’s decision. A Virgin Media spokesman was quoted by the Telegraph newspaper as saying the company was “perplexed and disappointed” by the decision.

Hybrid IP/DTT service provider IP Vision meanwhile said it was “disappointed” by the decision but that it welcomed “Ofcom’s acknowledgement of the harm that can result from restrictions in competition”.  The operator accepted the regulator’s reasoning that it was difficult to make an assessment of the risk to competition at such an early stage in the development of the YouView service. “It is clear from its assessment of the complaint against YouView that Ofcom shares and reiterates our particular concerns, namely the questions of content syndication and fair access to YouView’s technical specifications,” the company said. “Our view remains that YouView’s current commitments in both areas fall well short of the commitments made by the BBC Trust when YouView was first proposed.”
IP Vision welcomed Ofcom’s commitment to continue to scrutinise the project, looking at content syndication and technical standards policies in particular.