Graham Read QC in expedited Court of Appeal hearing for 0800, 0845 and 0870 telephone numbers

The Court of Appeal sat for three days last week to hear an expedited appeal from the decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal Judgment (2011 CAT 24).  Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, Telefonica O2 and Hutchinson 3G (all the UK mobile network operators) were all appealing the Tribunal’s decision to allow BT’s innovative wholesale “ladder” pricing.  BT’s pricing was seeking to correct what Ofcom has described as a “market failure” whereby the mobile network operators were, for example, charging up to 40 pence per minute to mobile network customers calling 0800 numbers, when these numbers are supposedly free to callers.

Graham Read QC was lead counsel for the Respondent, BT. Issues ranged over the precise effect of the EU Common Regulatory Framework, the nature of an appeal on the merits, previous case law from the Tribunal and the precise contractual effect of BT’s SIA contract. A judgment is anticipated shortly.

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