Investigation into VOD venture extended

The proposed online video-on-demand joint venture between Blighty’s ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide has been dealt another setback, with U.K. competition regulators extending the deadline for their probe into the service.

Kangaroo, as the venture is known, was referred to Blighty’s Competition Commission in June after commercial rivals, including BSkyB, complained to the Office of Fair Trading.

Kangaroo will give viewers a single destination for online video from the main terrestrial broadcasters.

The Commission had been due to complete its probe by Dec. 14, but the deadline has now been put back until mid-January.

The partners have been given an extra month to provide more details about Kangaroo to help the Commission understand its relationship to similar sites such as the BBC iPlayer and ITV.com.

ITV executive chairman Michael Grade has criticized the delay, arguing that it will allow rival U.S. offerings, such as Apple and Google, to build “market dominating positions.”

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