Virgin to challenge Project Canvas with complaint to Ofcom
Virgin Media are likely to file a formal complaint against Project Canvas with Ofcom according to information in The Times. The company believes that Canvas is anti-competitive and will be asking for a full market impact assessment. Virgin aren't the only company to speak out against Project Canvas with Sky previously saying they were against the use of public money for things like this which will distort the market.
"It's disappointing that what started with seemingly positive intentions has developed into something which wants to dictate how we all watch TV. The BBC Trust has explicitly admitted Project Canvas will hamper innovation and so damage competition. Companies of all sizes and from so many affected industries have expressed their concerns but, to date, these have been summarily dismissed."Virgin Media spokesperson speaking to Broadband TV News
The news of the Virgin challenge comes following information that Orange are to replace Five as a partner to Project Canvas. Their joining would be interesting particularly as Orange were looking at a purchase of Project Kangaroo, the joint venture to develop a web-based version of iPlayer involving all terrestrial channels that got vetoed by the competition commission. Kangaroo was eventually sold to Arqiva who are a current partner in Project Canvas and are likely to bring their SeeSaw platform and content to the table, which may then make it available to Orange in a roundabout way.
Other Canvas news sees rumour that Kip Meek is slated to become the chairman of Project Canvas early next year before the service goes live, although The Register question his involvement due to his directorship of Phorm which they believe Canvas should ask him to give up before he takes the role.