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Title: A comparative perspective on competition law and regulation of premium pay-TV in the UK and Australia
Author: Warner, Sara-Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5831
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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Digitalisation and convergence continue to transform the ways in which audio-visual content is supplied and consumed. This thesis examines the implications for the legacy regulatory frameworks of the analogue era. It explores the relationship between the prevailing approach to concurrent regulation under sector-specific legislation and general competition law, and the competitive conditions for the supply of premium pay-TV in the UK and Australia. Theories of harm for the assessment of market power relating to horizontal concentration of ownership, exclusive rights and refusal to supply, are also reviewed. Whilst acknowledging an enduring role for sector-specific regulation, the thesis advocates an increasing residual role for the enforcement of general competition law. This is supported by the reinforcing effects of digitalisation and convergence upon the network industry aspect of pay-TV and the multi-sided platform characteristics of pay-TV providers. The thesis identifies the need for greater emphasis on the dynamic aspect of competition in the premium pay-TV context. This calls for a broader conceptualisation of competition which critically reflects the growth of online streaming, the global phenomenon around premium drama and the rise of multi-media firms in a global communications sector. These findings are significant and timely because failure to employ a sufficiently broad concept of effective competition may perversely deter competitive conduct and unduly impede the investment incentives that are critical to premium pay-TV. It may also produce outcomes that are ostensibly inconsistent with the normative basis for sector-specific regulation. The thesis suggests reform at the interface between sector-specific legislation and general competition law, and refinement of the principles of competition law in their application to premium pay-TV. In doing so, it proposes a model of regulation which aims to more effectively balance the shared interest of viewers, as consumers and citizens, in the future development of pay-TV and the wider communications sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: KN Common Law, Private Law