OFT to investigate BBC over news giveaway

– The office of fair trading is to investigate the BBC's practice of giving away online news services to mobile phone operators and internet sites following a complaint by ITN.

– The office of fair trading is to investigate the BBC's practice of giving away online news services to mobile phone operators and internet sites following a complaint by ITN.

ITN argues that although firms such as Vodafone, Yahoo! and Cellnet profit from the BBC's publicly funded services, the licence fee payer is being sold short. It maintains that this is an abuse of the corporation's position.

The BBC also stands accused of crowding out competitors, like Sky and Reuters, by using its status as a non-commercial operation.

The BBC has responded by saying that it had not been charging for the use of its online news services in trials, but will be reviewing the situation when the trials end shortly.



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