Case Opened: January 2010
The Commission has completed its investigation into the allegation that the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) had declined DIRECTV’s request to advertise its Digital Video Recorder (DVR) because it would conflict with CBC’s policy of not advertising for competitors.
The specific explanation provided by CBC was that “CBC’s Advertising
Policy gives it the right to refuse advertising which promotes
competitors or their brands”.
The Commission’s preliminary report in relation to this matter was
prepared and forwarded to CBC and the Company invited to respond. In
January 2011, CBC acknowledged its dominance in the market for the
supply of television advertising services in Barbados but refused the
claim that it had abused that dominance.
The Commission met and reviewed CBC’s response and agreed that there was
insufficient evidence to conclude that CBC’s refusal to advertise
DIRECTV’s Digital Video Recorder was acting in breach of the Fair
Competition Act CAP 326C.
The Commission however found that because CBC is the only legally
licensed terrestrial television broadcaster in Barbados it’s advertising
policy which selectively refuses to provide advertising because a
business may be sponsored by a potential CBC competitor, is likely to
have the effect of distorting competition and should be revised to one
that was more consistent with the objectives of the Fair Competition
CBC has subsequently confirmed that it is in the process of reviewing
its policy in keeping with the Commission’s decision.
Case Closed: February 2011