The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating suspected anti-competitive behaviour relating to the hiring of freelance TV crew by the BBC, ITV and a number of indie production companies.

The authority said it is probing “suspected breaches of competition law” by the BBC, ITV Hartswood Films, Hat Trick Productions, Red Planet, Sister Pictures and Tiger Aspect Productions.


The CMA is investigating suspected breaches of competition law by BBC, ITV, and a number of indie production companies

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The probe is “in relation to the purchase of freelance services and the employment of staff supporting the production, creation and/or broadcasting of television content in the UK, excluding sport content.” 

The CMA said it has reasonable grounds to suspect one or more breaches of competition law, without providing specific details. It does not say why the companies, which are all active in the drama production space, have been named. 

In a statement, the CMA said it has not reached a view as to whether there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of competition law for it to issue a statement of objections to any of the companies. It stressed that not all cases result in the CMA issuing a statement of objections. 

The CMA is separately investigating suspected breaches of competition law relating to similar breaches of competition law in sports production and broadcasting. 

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