Since last July, the ACCC has being weighing up whether Foxtel acquiring Austar would be anti-competitive, a question in which the likely future of the NBN plays a crucial role. An issues paper issued today suggests the ACCC might approve the merger, but only if Foxtel ensures that some of the content it acquires is also made available to rival IPTV providers such as FetchTV.
Picture by Stephen Dann
Foxtel has made an undertaking to share some content with other IPTV acquirers. Here’s how it explains the deal:
According to the terms of the undertaking, FOXTEL will be prevented from entering into exclusive content agreements to acquire internet protocol television (IPTV) rights for a range of attractive content to allow that content to be made available to existing and future competitors of FOXTEL and Telstra. By reducing content exclusivity, the proposed undertaking aims to lower barriers to entry and promote new and effective competition in telecommunications and subscription television markets.
The undertaking says nothing about sport, which is the the main reason Lifehacker readers pay for pay TV. The ACCC argues that sport is a separate issue, but is inviting comment on the undertaking until March 20. Do you think it goes far enough?