Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ under review by UK government

(Pocket-lint) – The UK government is looking closely at streaming services to decide whether they need to be regulated in similar fashion to broadcast TV.

It wants communications regulator Ofcom to run the rule over Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and other services that operate in the country, just as it does on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and other traditional broadcasters.

This would mean they would each be examined for bias and accuracy based on UK guidelines.

At present, regulatory control is haphazard. For example, Netflix’s European headquarters are in Amsterdam, so it falls under Dutch regulations. The government wants to change that, with Netflix’s UK operation requiring Ofcom control instead.

This, says the government, will aid the content complaints procedure for UK viewers.

Its full plans will reportedly be published later this week.

“UK broadcasters are having to compete with these giants with one hand tied behind their backs. The companies have deep pockets and go largely unregulated, leaving them free to impose their interpretation of British life,” said a government source (as reported by the Press Association via Yahoo).

“The rules governing the way broadcasters operate were written for an analogue age. They are not fit for purpose in an era of smart TVs, streaming and on-demand programming.

“With the pace of change and the increase in global competition, the culture secretary feels it is time to look at how we can level the playing field between broadcasters and video-on-demand services and make sure the UK’s broadcasting landscape is fit for the 21st century.”

Writing by Rik Henderson.

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