Watchdog extends Sky TV probe

Commerce Commission has written to Sky TV to say further investigation of its contracts with content providers and resellers is necessary

Sky Television shares have fallen under $5 after the pay-television company said the Commerce Commission had written to the company to say "further investigation" of its contracts with content providers and resellers was necessary. Sky has been awaiting word on its fate after the commission announced in May that it was concerned that the terms on which Sky acquired programming might have denied rivals access to "a critical mass of quality content" in breach of the Commerce Act. The commission is also considering whether Sky's agreements with telecommunications companies, including TelstraClear, Telecom, and Vodafone, breach the act by stopping them offering competing services or assisting rivals. Sky said the commission had told the company it had completed the "first stage" of its investigation and considered that further investigation was necessary. Sky said it was not surprised "given the complexity of the issues involved". It was confident its agreements did not breach the Commerce Act, it said. Sky shares were trading down 7 cents at $4.99 during lunchtime trading. In March this year Computerworld ran a week-long series of articles examining the relationship between Sky TV and the telcos.

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