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BT Welcomes Oftels BTO Decision
By: MarkJ - 21 November, 2003 (1:20 PM)

Little surprise that BTOpenworld has just issued a new press release welcoming Oftels decision, which found it NOT guilty of acting anti-competitively:

OFTEL UPHOLDS BT OPENWORLD'S BROADBAND PRICING

BT today welcomed Oftel's decision to dismiss Freeserve's allegations of anti-competitive behaviour when setting the launch price of BT Openworld's consumer broadband internet access product in March 2002.

The telecom regulator's detailed and reasoned decision found no evidence that BT has been squeezing its competitors' margins, and no evidence of any adverse effect in the competitive retail market.

A BT spokesperson said: "We are pleased that Oftel has finally thrown out Freeserve's spurious claims. It is a shame that it has taken over eighteen months to reach this point, but at least common sense has prevailed. Perhaps Freeserve will be a little less quick to complain and a bit more willing to acknowledge the fact that the UK now has the most competitive broadband sector in the world."

Oftel had already cleared BT in May 2002, but Freeserve appealed to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, a specialist competition court, to have the decision overturned. In April 2003 the court questioned Oftel's pricing decision on procedural grounds and Oftel offered to re-examine the case afresh, and the court set a timetable for the investigation. Oftel's decision that BT did not breach the Competition Act 1998 has been taken within the court's extended deadline.


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