Virgin adds to Kangaroo woes

Virgin Media has joined the ever-lengthening line of potential rivals to Project Kangaroo that would prefer the Competition Commission to rule against the VOD venture.

“In the absence of suitable remedies to address the very significant horizontal and vertical competition concerns raised by Kangaroo, the CC should not permit the proposed transaction to proceed,” Virgin told the Commission’s consultation on possible remedies to Kangaroo’s market-threatening proposals.

In its latest submission released by the Commission, the cableco criticises Kangaroo for the lack of clarity by partners BBC Worldwide, ITV plc and Channel 4 in how the operation will actually function. Virgin says the Commission should be “extremely wary about accepting the JV Parties’ claims of hypothetical future consumer benefits, in particular given that under the counterfactual significant benefits are already being delivered to consumers and may be expected to continue to be delivered to consumers in a more competitive environment.” It adds that the free elements of the Kangaroo proposition are being overplayed.

Virgin has made much of its carriage of the BBC iPlayer through its set-top box. Unlike Channel 4’s content that will be made a part of the proposed service, the BBC is sticking with the iPlayer, and leaving Kangaroo to its commercial division.