YouView waved through as Ofcom ignores Sky's moaning

YouView is back on track after Ofcom dismissed competition complaints against the broadband TV platform.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

Ofcom has dismissed complaints against YouView, giving the BBC and its partners the green light to continue developing the broadband TV platform. YouView has escaped an investigation under the Competition Act, but the regulator will be keeping an eye on all involved.

Sky and Virgin Media both complained to Ofcom about the nascent service, along with ten other parties. The naysayers argue the consortium of companies involved is anti-competitive. Virgin told us they were receptive to the idea of an open standard, but worries the platform is not open enough and will privilege the current partners.

Ofcom has decided it's "likely that YouView will bring benefits to viewers and consumers. Any potential harm to competition would need to be offset against these benefits." The regulator hasn't ruled out future investigation and will keep an eye on the initiative as it develops, especially with regard to the publication of YouView's technical specs.

YouView boss Richard Halton today told us, "We welcome this decision from Ofcom. All our efforts are now focused on launching a brilliant consumer product next year." In the run-up to launch, YouView is seeking more partners to get involved.

YouView was developed under the name Project Canvas, and is a partnership between the BBC, ITV, C4, Five, BT and TalkTalk. It will require a new set-top box and broadband connection, and will offer PVR-style pausing, rewinding and recording of IPTV services through your Internet pipes.