Execs often say they hate government regulation, but sing a different tune when officials scrutinize a competitor. That’s why it was so surprising to hear Netflix CEO Reed Hastings say that he wants the UK Competition Commission to keep out of his battle with BSkyB — his most formidable streaming video rival in the market that Netflix entered in January. “We are aiming for a fair fight,” he said at a conference yesterday The Guardian reports. “One of the big advantages is that we are £5.99 (per month), that is a fundamental difference in positioning. Frankly we think many people will get Netflix in addition to (BSkyB’s) Sky Movies or Sky Atlantic.” The Competition Commission has already provisionally determined that BSkyB’s premium TV deals with all of the major Hollywood studios are too restrictive. But last week the regulators said that they would extend their review of the market to July so they could determine whether the new streaming offerings from Netflix and Amazon’s LoveFilm change the dynamic. Although Hastings says he doesn’t need the Competition Commission’s help now, he added that his view might change “in a year or so” if he’s unable to win licensing rights from one or two major studios when it’s time for them to renew their deals with Sky. “The first big milestone is how many years it takes us to get to 10% of households,” he says. “Not many services get to that, it is a big number, it might take us a couple of years. We want to become a full global service like YouTube.”
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