BBC Trust rules that corporation’s smartphone apps do not need to pass full public value test, despite rivals’ concerns
The BBC Trust has given given the all-clear to the launch of the BBC’s iPhone apps despite commercial rivals’ concerns about their market impact.
Smartphone applications for BBC News, BBC Sport and the iPlayer did not require further scrutiny through a public value test, it said.
The trust’s review included research into the apps market by a media consultancy firm, Mediatique.
BBC trustee Diane Coyle, who led the review, said: “The apps market is rapidly taking off as more people choose to get their news, sport and other online content while they’re on the move.
“The trust has a duty to represent the interests of licence fee payers, who will increasingly expect to access BBC content in this way, but also to listen to concerns raised by industry.
“In this case we have concluded that while the apps market is developing quickly and we will monitor the launch of BBC apps, a PVT is not required.”
The Trust said a public value test was not required because the iPhone apps did not involve the creation of new content.
But it said the impact of the BBC services on the apps market should be monitored and would be reviewed six months after launch.
“In circumstances where the BBC’s apps have an unanticipated impact on the market it will remain open to the Trust to call the proposals back in for further consideration or to consider any fair trading complaints on appeal.”
The apps were in line with previous BBC activity, which already offered a range of basic web apps for mobile devices, it said, adding: “The proposals are also in line with current market trends including the growing penetration of smart phones and mobile internet usage.”
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BBC iPhone apps given green light
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