0800 free phone and 0845/0870 non-geographic numbers case comes to an end

Graham Read QC acted for the main appellant, BT, in these appeals in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which were concluded just before the Easter Break after some three weeks of evidence and submissions. The Appeals (from a determination by the telecoms regulator, Ofcom) were considering the high prices that Mobile Network Operators currently charge their customers for calling 0800 free phone and 0845/0870 non-geographic numbers and an innovative wholesale tariff pricing structure (WTS) put in place by BT under its Standard Interconnect Agreement. This WTS was intended either to reduce the cost of these calls or to spread the revenues generated by the high prices along the telecoms chain to terminating communications providers and Service Providers. In addition to highly complicated economic modelling as to the precise consequences of this WTS on consumers and competition, the case involved significant legal issues as to the precise interplay between private law contractual rights and regulatory powers under the Communications Act. Between £50 and £100 million is at stake. Other parties included, Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone and Cable & Wireless. Judgment is expected shortly.

Back to News

Additional Information