Ofcom decides not to launch Competition Act investigation into Project Canvas

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) has announced it would be premature to open an investigation under the Competition Act 1998 into a joint venture between BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva to offer digital terrestrial channels and internet-delivered TV services through a set-top box connected to a viewer's TV set (known as Project Canvas).

Despite receiving complaints from Virgin Media and IP Vision, Ofcom announced it will not be commencing an investigation at this stage because of the emerging nature of the market for internet protocol television and because factors such as the impact on the market, the benefits and/or potential harm to consumers, and how the market may develop will not be apparent for some time. Ofcom will continue to monitor the Project Canvas joint venture and may open an investigation in the future if there is evidence of harm to consumers following the content syndication and sharing standards of the joint venture.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was notified of the joint venture initially but considered that it did not qualify for investigation under the Enterprise Act 2002.

19 October 2010