Scope and timetable for Ofcom review of digital TV platforms

Ofcom document (8 pages, PDF) setting out the scope and timetable for its review of "wholesale digital television broadcasting platforms", which started in July 2006. The review will consider competition between providers of "consumer access services", and also between providers of capacity and transmission services. Ofcom expects that its market analysis will inform a review of regulation in two areas: (i) the regulation of conditional access, EPG-listing and related services; and (ii) the "fair and effective competition" conditions contained in DTT multiplex licences. A consultation document is expected in April 2007, setting out Ofcom's emerging thinking on issues such as market definition and market power. Ofcom plans to set out provisional conclusions on market definition, market power and proposed remedies around September 2007, and to publish a final statement in December 2007.

Comment. Ofcom's timetable risks a lack of emphasis on regulatory questions or problems. Market definition analysis is useful for bringing an understanding of the nature of competition in different parts of the supply chain. However, there is a danger that the next six months are spent considering abstract questions of market definition and market power, without focus on how this can help answer relevant — and perhaps broader — regulatory questions. Nic

For further information or advice please contact Nicholas Francis.

Filed under Media, Ofcom.

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