British telecommunications service BT has called for the communications watchdog Ofcom to review Sky’s market dominance in the pay TV department, saying its position increases prices, lowers the quality of the service and hinders innovation.
John Petter, CEO of BT's consumer division, says Sky has a "monopolising" 64 percent share of the paid TV market, which is why customers pay £500 million a year too much.
The dominance is to blame for the lack of competition in the market, Petter says, adding that its majority share creates “major barriers” for new players.
"We think Ofcom should heed the call of Sky’s biggest shareholder. James Murdoch once said in relation to Sky that 21st Century Fox fought for 'a level playing field and to have competition policy applied with an even hand'," The Inquirer quotes Petter saying.
"But when it comes to competition in pay TV, the message from Sky seems to be ‘talk to the hand'. We think Ofcom should make Murdoch happy and give the UK a competitive pay TV market that is fit for the next decade."
A Sky spokesperson told The INQUIRER: "The reality is that, in a competitive market, customers are choosing Sky in greater numbers and staying with us for longer because of the quality and value that we offer.
"It is strange to hear BT talk about high prices when they are about to increase the price of BT Sport for Sky TV customers by 48 per cent.
"This looks like an attempt to deflect attention from the real problems that exist in broadband, where consumers are suffering because of BT’s underinvestment and there is concern about competition in the future."