Google has given its backing to the proposed multi-broadcaster video-on-demand service Project Kangaroo.
In its submission to the Competition Commission's inquiry into the venture, Google said it does not expect the platform to have any negative impact on competition or customers.
Moreover, it adds: "We hope that the JV would be willing to partner with us."
Google's endorsement of a competitor is significant because the success of the US company has been one of the thorns in the side for PSBs seeking to expand their business online.
ITV executive chairman Michael Grade has repeatedly described Google as one of his biggest competitors. Last month, he criticised the OFT for allowing the company to steal a march on the PSBs plans by referring Kangaroo to the Competition Commission, a move which has delayed its launch until next year.
Google acknowledged that Kangaroo's suppliers – production companies, broadcasters, music labels, studios and rights holders – will overlap with those of Google-owned YouTube. The two platforms will also compete for advertisers and, to some degree, users.
It said however that the degree of competition will be determined by how much Kangaroo's partners – BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 - decide to make available via YouTube. One area where there will not be competition is in downloads, which YouTube and Google Video do not currently offer.
BBC Worldwide and ITN, part-owned by ITV, both have official YouTube channels. Some specific PSB programmes have their own official channels too, including ITV1's The X-Factor and BBC2's Top Gear.
Google's stance is also at odds with other video-on-demand providers, including Joost, which used its submission to the inquiry to complain that Kangaroo's partners will unfairly benefit from the ability to cross-promote the platform and set up bundle advertising deals.
The OFT referred Project Kangaroo to the Competition Commission at the start of July. The Commission has invited all partners, as well as interested third parties, to outline their views and is expected to publish its response in the new year.