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Wanadoo -vs- BT's Broadband Pricing

Posted: 29th Jun, 2005 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has published another update in its long running, Wanadoo instigated (2002), investigation into BT's residential broadband pricing. The regulator proposes to find that BT infringed Section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 82 of the EC Treaty.

Ofcom sent BT a second Statement of Objections ("SO") on 27 June 2005 stating that it proposes to make a decision that BT Group plc has infringed Section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 (the "Chapter II prohibition") and Article 82 of the EC Treaty ("Article 82") in relation to the company's residential broadband pricing.

The second SO expands on the first SO sent to BT on 31 August 2004 and restates the facts of the case, the matters to which Ofcom has taken objection, the action Ofcom proposes and the reasons for this. Ofcom has issued a second SO following BT's representations on the first SO and to take account of updated analysis.

BT now has the opportunity to make written and oral representations in response to the second SO. These will be taken fully into account before any final decision is made.

Freeserve (now Wanadoo UK plc) made the original complaint to Ofcom's predecessor Oftel in March 2002. Ofcom is taking the investigation of BT's current residential broadband pricing policies forward.

Ofcom is investigating whether BT has abused a dominant position in relation to its residential broadband pricing policies contrary to the Chapter II prohibition and Article 82. In particular, Ofcom is assessing whether BT has operated a margin squeeze through the pricing of its residential broadband services from June 2002. The period of March to May 2002 was previously investigated by Oftel.

In other words we don't yet have a final outcome, but Ofcom is giving BT another chance to put its side of the story before making a ruling.
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