U.K. Media Regulator Ofcom Ends Probe Into TV-Airtime Buying

Ruling Finds Current System Doesn't Restrict or Distort Competition

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The U.K.'s media regulator, Ofcom, isn't going to refer the TV-media-buying industry to British competition authorities after a six-month review found no evidence that the system harms advertisers or viewers, the U.K. media reported today.

Ofcom CEO Ed Richards initiated the review over concerns that the way TV buying is handled is "complex" and "opaque," and may involve volume discounts that distort prices or limit competition.

"We do not believe there is a strong case to suggest that there is significant detriment to consumers -- TV viewers, advertisers or consumers of products advertised on TV," said Ofcom, concluding the review.

The Guardian reported that among the submissions from interested parties, most of the submissions from advertisers indicated they didn't think changes were needed in the way TV airtime is bought and sold in the U.K.

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