BSkyB is an abusive monopoly, no matter who owns it

Posted in BSkyB, journalism, Murdoch by Deputy city editor on July 8, 2011

I have nothing to add to the shock revelation that journalists are corrupt.

I merely comment that whether Rupert Murdoch should be permitted to take 100% control of BSkyB is the wrong question.

BSkyB is ALREADY an abusive monopoly that:

– imposes itself on captive ratepayers – for mostly uncabled Britain, BSkyB is the only game in town with a 50% market share of pay-TV. It uses its stuctural monopoly to impose rates and services and conditions on subscribers who have nowhere else to go for things like football and films.

– by its structure and practice,  inhibits competitors from entering the marketplace through its control of subscriber management and the only 2 electronic programme guides (EPG)  (standard and HD) available in the satellite marketplace. There are no competitors in either subscriber management or electronic programme guides on the satellite system controlled by BSkyB.

– exercises an unhealthy effect on media plurality through its abuse of the EPG giving itself favoured channel positions and imposing rates, services and conditions on anyone else who wants to gain access to this platform. The victims of BSkyB’s monopoly practices are not only viewers but competitive programmers. BSkyB might claim that access is equitable between its own channels and others, but its charges to itself for its own channels produce revenue for BSkyB while imposing a rent on everyone else.

In a country where abusive monopolies have never been taken very seriously, BSkyB is not just an abusive monopoly but a direct threat to media pluraity, which the lefties say is what they care about. Clueless Murdoch-haters may rave but if the idea is to have media plurality then BSkyB is the biggest problem in town…. worse, even, than the hideous subsidy-junky BBC with its endless, costly, patronising drivel .

The objective of public policy should be to give consumers the benefit of competition right across the board with open entry and diverse choices. Instead, the satellite platform, the most influential platform of all in the UK, is already 100% controlled by a single entity.

Investigate that.