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Ofcom Fines DMGT £225,000 For Closing Teletext

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By Mark Sweney: Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) & General Trust has been fined £225,000 by media regulator Ofcom for closing the Teletext TV service.

DMGT, which announced last July that it would shut Teletext’s TV service after 17 years, has been fined for breaking its public service broadcasting licence by shutting the service in December.

The company closed the service, which had operating losses in the year to 4 October 2009 of £4m, 33% more than the year before, despite its licence running until 2014.

“In accepting a licence, the broadcaster takes account of the likely cost of the obligations under the licence, and the value of the benefits associated with the licence, for the duration of the licence period,” said Ofcom.

“In deciding to cease providing key elements of the service in December 2009, Teletext committed a serious breach of the obligations in the public teletext service licence such that the licence was revoked.”

Ofcom, which could have levied a fine of up to £500,000, said it had given “careful consideration to the written and oral representations” of DMGT in deciding the financial penalty.

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..