Ofcom won’t test BBC/Discovery’s UKTV deal

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Media regulator Ofcom has confirmed that it will not conduct a formal competition assessment of the deal between BBC Studios and Discovery on UKTV.

In April, BBC Studios and Discovery announced an agreement on the future of their UKTV joint venture. Under the terms, Discovery takes full control of UKTV’s lifestyle channels, while BBC Studios takes control of UKTV’s entertainment channels.

Ofcom said its job is to assess whether the change could risk distorting the market, or give the BBC’s commercial subsidiaries an unfair advantage over rival services, because of their relationship with the Public Service.

But having considered the deal, Ofcom has declared that it believes its existing trading and separation regulation sufficiently safeguards against any potential competition risks-, and have thus decided not to conduct a formal competition assessment.


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