‘UK Hulu’ Kangaroo Further Delayed In Competition Inquiry

UK VOD JV Kangaroo, which was already facing an antitrust inquiry of six months before even launching, is now being delayed by a further month – because the trio behind the venture haven’t yet agreed on key terms. The Competition Commission (CC), which in June began an investigation in to possible market distortion, last week asked the partners for important bits of information – but BBC Worldwide, ITV (LSE: ITV) and Channel 4 said they were still negotiating on those areas and will instead supply the info in September. CC today said this puts its provisional conclusion back to November and the final deadline to mid-January.

Commercial TV leader ITV was particularly critical when the commission started its inquiry – it’s facing a TV ad drop-off and banking on Kangaroo to help meet its optimistic £150 million ($285 million) web sales target, which it this week postponed by two years to 2012. Kangaroo will offer ad-supported and pay-to-view shows from the main three networks after they have been shown on free, public-service channels. But CC has already identified potential competition concerns on VOD wholesale rights and retail prices.