British regulator Ofcom said it is going to look into a dispute between BSkyB and BT (NYSE: BT) in which the British broadcaster is refusing to let BT carry two of its sports channels. BSkyB has said it will only let BT customers have access to its Sports 1 and 2 channels if the company provides access to its sports channels to BSkyB.
BT is preparing to launch three TV channels under the brand BT Sport in August. It has said it will provide those channels to its customers for free, a move that many believe will take market share away from BSkyB. However, BT is refusing to provide BSkyB with access to its upcoming sports channels because it says that Sky is the dominant carrier and by giving the company access it would be a violation of the Competition Act.
This isn't the first time Ofcom has been drawn into a dispute over competition in the U.K. In May the regulator launched an investigation of BT over charges that it was abusing its dominant position by dropping the prices of its broadband service to a level that makes it difficult for wholesale providers to compete.
- see this Financial Times article (sub.req.)
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