Ofcom has warned the BBC that its Project Canvas IPTV ambitions could
stymie fair competition in the broadcasting industry.
Canvas, a joint initiative between BT, the BBC and ITV promoting a
common standard for delivering online catch-up programming services via
the internet to set-top boxes, could face the same level of
investigation that torpedoed earlier efforts around Project Kangaroo.
Philips of Ofcom claimed in a letter to the BBC Trust that "there may
be a future role for the OFT [Office of Fair Trading] and/or
Ofcom to assess [Project Canvas] under relevant merger or competition
In the letter Philips also said that Ofcom understands "that the technical specification for Canvas will involve not only
reference to open standards, but also identifying preferred technical
solutions from specific vendors."
Ofcom said there were significant benefits to the scheme but it was
also "important that commercially led propositions which seek to
Canvas should not be unfairly prevented from accessing BBC content."