Ofcom opens consultation on BBC’s commercial and trading activities | Major Businesses | Business
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Under the terms of the Corporation’s government-set Charter and Agreement, the UK’s broadcast and telecoms regulator Ofcom has begun a consultation to consider the impact of the BBC’s activities on fair and effective competition.
bbcstudioworks 1sep2017In 2017, Ofcom published requirements aimed at addressing competition concerns that could arise from the relationship between the BBC Public Service and its commercial subsidiaries such as BBC Studios and in relation to the way the BBC carries out its trading activities. In particular, the requirements ensure that the BBC Public Service and its commercial subsidiaries are separate and operate at arm’s length.

One of Ofcom’s principal functions in regulating the BBC is to set requirements in relation to the interaction between the BBC and its commercial activities Ofcom believes that competition concerns may arise if, for example, third parties are less able to compete effectively because of the relationship between the Public Service and the commercial subsidiaries and if the subsidiaries were able to sustain ongoing losses, they could offer goods and services below market prices (and their actual costs).

Having carried out its work, Ofcom is now consulting on a number of changes to these requirements and guidance. The regulator says that it welcomes any views and comments which respondents may have on the issues raised in this document by 24 September 2018. It added that it will consider stakeholder responses to our proposals and expect to publish our decisions by the end of 2018.