YouView, or Project Canvas as we used to call it, has got the go-ahead from watchdog Ofcom, which said that it will not investigate the internet-based television service following competition complaints.
YouView aims to unite the services and shows of the main television providers. Although it has the backing of broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, complaints had come from other firms including BSkyB and Virgin Media.
"Virgin Media and IP Vision submitted complaints to Ofcom that alleged potential breaches of the Competition Act 1998. Ofcom also received submissions from 11 other parties, including BSkyB", said the regulator.
These complaints ranged from the fact that Canvas partners would be incentivised so that they kept their content off the other, competing services; that its technical standards were not open, and were not available for external use; and, what could potentially have been the most damming: "It is likely to restrict competition between TV platforms."
None of these complaints impressed the regulator, however, which said that it was too early to assess the impact of YouView because it was too early in its development.
"IPTV is still an emerging sector, and the impact of YouView on the market will not be known with any confidence for some time," Ofcom noted, adding that any negatives it might have could be outweighed by its positives.
"It is 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 said in its summary.
"Whether or not YouView and its partners will harm competition in the ways alleged will depend upon how this emerging market develops and how they act, particularly in relation to providing access to content and issuing technical standards."
However, Ofcom added that if it did become apparent that the firm was restricting content from other providers, this could "generate competition concerns". The watchdog added that with this in mind, it would keep the service's policies under review.
YouView may still have some challenges ahead of it though, and not least of all the attention of one party that has taken umbrage at the use of the word YouView.
We don't know officially who this company is, but we do know that YouView is not a million miles away from YouTube. Google has so far refused to confirm that it is the party in question.
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