Below is a draft of a letter we want to submit to the OFT http://www.oft.gov.uk who can then refer the matter to the Competitions Commission http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/ unfortunately the OFT will not take up the complaint from the public even though they were formed to protect the Consumers of the UK?
Therefore we ask that you sign this petition so we can then ask Consumer Focus http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/ to refer this to the OFT on our behalf.
If you are not aware of what this is about here is a general outline,
On the 29th July the BBC announced it has signed a deal with SKY TV to share the rights to Formula One for 7 years with SKY showing all Races live and the BBC only allowed to show 10 (50%) of the races Live this in effect means that to watch the sport in its entirety fans would have to subscribe to Sky + Sky Sports equating to a bill of £600 p.a this is on top of your licence fee that you have to pay regardless.
We feel that the deal is illegal and was made purely to prevent the other TV companies from acquiring the sport.
Once you have Signed the petition please check your email
(or Junk folder) to confirm your Vote !! Your vote will not count if you do not verify it via the email link.
Firstly can I ask that you treat this report as a Anti Competition report and not a Broadcasting report as this does not fall within the remit of OFCOM.
Below I list a number of points that I think break both
Chapter I prohibition prohibits agreements between businesses that prevent restrict or distort competition to an appreciable extent in the UK.
Chapter II prohibition prohibits the abuse of a dominant position. Holding a dominant position is not unlawful but it is unlawful to abuse that position. The prohibition therefore relates to the conduct of the company not its position in a market.
of the Competition Act 1998
As you may be aware on 29/07/2011 the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced a 7 year deal to share control of the Broadcasting rights for Formula One within the UK with British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB), This new contract I believe breaks the above Chapters for the following reason.
I believe the BBC have Restricted/Distorted competition as they have entered into the deal during a period of dominance.
The BBC had exclusive rights under contract with the Formula One Management (FOM) to F1 until the end of the 2013 season and whilst this contract was in place the FOM could not consider any bids from any other companies who had shown interest in bidding for the rights.
On the 29/07/2011 the BBC entered into a deal with BskyB and extended the period for a further 5 years effectively preventing other interested parties from making a legitimate bid once the existing contract came to an end.
Bernie Ecclestone (head of the FOM) was qouted as saying
‘Ecclestone added with the BBC’s original contract not due to expire until the end of 2013, it effectively scuppered any moves to go with Channel 4 or even return to ITV.
also when Asked ‘ if the BBC ’held all the cards’ over the new deal, Ecclestone added: “Yes, absolutely. If they [Channel 4] had said they wanted to sign a contract today to start Broadcasting for £45m a year, then we would have probably done it.
“But that’s the problem. We couldn’t deal with them, even if they had wanted to.”
“I spoke with ITV and came up with the same problem as Channel 4 had. We had a contract with the BBC which didn’t run out until 2014.“We couldn’t very well do a deal with other people for them to start doing something next year, because we had that contract.
As you can see from the above quotes ITV & Channel 4 were interested in bidding for the contract but were unable too until the existing BBC contract had ended
The BBC had also stated that they themselves may have had end the original contract at the end of this season (2011, two years early) due to finances.
So in effect the BBC have extended a contract by 5 years whilst they were in a dominant position although they were in no position to make a new bid once the contract ended thus preventing other interested parties from making a legitimate bid.
I feel that the BBC while in a dominant position (being in control of the contract and rights) abused this dominance by inviting BskyB to an extended deal preventing other interested parties from making a legitimate bid once the contract in place and ended.
If you would like to discuss this deal please visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/224225887622487/ and/or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-F1-on-BBC/149121281832578?sk=wall&filter=1
Once you have Signed the petition please check your email (or Junk folder) to confirm your Vote. Your vote will not count if you do not verify it via the email link.