H3G wins appeal against SMP ruling

30 Nov 2005

The UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that Hutchison 3G UK (H3G) is exempt from attempts by regulator Ofcom to cap its prices. CAT overturned Ofcom’s finding that H3G had significant market power (SMP) in the UK mobile market, meaning that the regulator has no say in setting the mobile operator’s tariffs until at least March 2007. Ofcom ruled that H3G had SMP in summer 2004, thus including it in legislation which compels all SMP cellcos to reduce the fees they charge rivals for carrying incoming calls on their networks by 30%; H3G launched its appeal in May 2005, claiming that it had not been operating in the market long enough to have SMP. The tribunal rejected most of H3G’s case only to decide that Ofcom had not fully considered the facts in reaching one of its findings. CAT has now suggested that Ofcom reconsider its methods of determining SMP.

United Kingdom, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK)