0800 and 0845/0870 number charges likely to be reduced after CAT victory

Devereux Chambers’ Graham Read QC has achieved a landmark ruling on charges for 0800 and 0845/0870 calls (often referred to as free phone and non-geographic numbers). Acting on behalf of BT, he successfully persuaded the Competition Appeal Tribunal to overturn two separate determinations by the regulator, Ofcom. In addition to recovering many million pounds for BT, the wholesale charging tariff that BT had introduced for terminating these calls is likely to induce the Mobile Network Operators to reduce charges to mobile phone users for making these types of call. The 200 page judgment has also provided guidance on Ofcom’s use of its powers under s.185 -192 under the Communications Act 2003 and particularly how the private law contractual rights of communication providers should be assessed under the dispute resolution process. The judgment can be seen at here.

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