Kangaroo Up Against It; Another Vote For Prohibition

Kangaroo’s chances of launching are getting slimmer, after a second rival VOD operator asked the Competition Commission only to “prohibit” the BBCWW/ITV/C4 site. Babelgum’s response to the range of remedies mooted by the commission to Kangaroo was revealed yesterday, and Joost’s response, published today, hits the same note, “urging the CC to consider seriously the possibility of prohibiting the joint venture”.

Joost’s opposition was already on record in both a June complaint to the Office of Fair Trading and an August submission to the commission, one of many it considered in its inquiry. But now that the commission is seeking further input on the preliminary conclusion it reached in December – that Kangaroo would be anti-competitive – it really is crunch time for the venture ahead of the commission’s final, final decision, due February 8… and every piece of feedback counts.

The inquiry last summer had also heard critical views from BT (NYSE: BT), Tiscali, Lovefilm backer Arts Alliance Media, ad body IPA, TV makers’ guild PACT and others. If they, like Joost and Babelgum, follow their initial opposition with a vote for prohibition, the commission will be under severe pressure to block Kangaroo outright.

For its part, Kangaroo has a different view, of course. Its favoured remedy is to offer shows to rival VOD platforms via wholesale, giving up its hoped-for exclusivity; it’s also offered to operate as