No, not another sequel to Danny Boyle’s ’28 Days Later’, but the length of time it has taken Ofcom to finish its investigation into allegations made by Independent Media Support Group (IMS) that an agreement between BBC Broadcast and Channel 4 for the provision of media access services has infringed competition law. IMS alleged that the agreement prevents, restricts or distorts competition, confers long-term exclusivity and has the potential to foreclose the market which amounts an an abuse of dominant position, and that the pricing under the contract is predatory.
Today Ofcom concluded that BBCB (now named Red Bee Media) is not dominant in the market for the supply of access services to UK television broadcasters, and therefore concludes that there are no grounds for action in relation to the Chapter II/Article 82 allegations that BBC Broadcast abused a dominant position by means of predatory pricing in relation to the Channel 4 contract and that it abused a dominant position by foreclosure in the relevant market as a result of the length and exclusive nature of the Channel 4 contract.
Ofcom has also concluded that the Channel 4 contract does not appreciably restrict competition and therefore there are no grounds for action in relation to the Chapter I/Article 81 allegation. Following a reduction in the duration of the BBC contract, in light of other priorities, Ofcom has decided not to commit further resources to conclude its analysis of the reduced contract length under Chapter I of the Act/Article 81 and has accordingly closed its file on this part of the case.
Good to know – unless you’re IMS obviously – that Ofcom has decide not to spend even more time on it.