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The U.K. competition regulator is expected to give British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC (BSY.LN) a reprieve in the local film market, as rivals such as Lovefilm and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) are undermining the pay-television operator's dominance and reducing the need to impose restrictions, according to the Mail on Sunday newspaper, without saying where it got its information.
U.S.-based Internet movie service firm Netflix began a long-awaited push into the U.K. and Ireland in January, pitting it against Lovefilm, a U.K.-based online-video rival that Amazon.com Inc. (AMZ) acquired in 2011. In response, Lovefilm cut its prices.
The Competition Commission is expected to publish its findings as early as this week, according to the report.
In its preliminary findings last year in August, the regulator said it was looking to change the way BSkyB operates its Sky Movies business to allow rivals such as Virgin Media Inc. (VMED) and BT Group PLC's (BT.A.LN) BT Vision to compete on a more equal footing.
The Competition Commission said at the time that would-be rivals were unable to bid successfully against BSkyB for the rights to show movies from all six major Hollywood studios in the first subscription pay-TV window because of BSkyB's large base of subscribers.
A spokesman from the regulator declined to comment on the report.
BSkyB counts News Corp.'s (NWS) as its biggest shareholder with a 39.1% stake. News Corp. also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire and The Wall Street Journal.
Newspaper Web site: http://www.dailymail.co.uk
-London Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9320