OFT closes file on TV Eye after IPA complaints

LONDON - After two years of investigation, the Office of Fair Trading has finally closed its file on the operations of TV Eye, the consortium of commercial broadcasters.

The IPA complained to the OFT in March 2003 about TV Eye, which was responsible for monitoring the credit-worthiness of media agencies.

The IPA argued that TV Eye was in breach of competition law by threatening a collective boycott of those media agencies that refused to put in place credit security arrangements.

These credit arrangements would cover the agencies' airtime commitments in the event that they went bust although the agencies said they were prohibitively expensive.

However, TV Eye has now made the OFT binding commitments that it will now not share information about agencies' credit arrangements among its members, but it can distribute to each member broadcaster details about credit risk.

The move means that TV Eye, which was formally known as ITV Networks Limited, has become the first organisation to successfully offer the OFT binding commitments.

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