Competition Commission upholds Ofcom’s ruling on BT’s wholesale access charges

25 Jun 2012

British fixed line incumbent BT’s latest effort to force its rivals to help share the cost of lowering its pension scheme deficit has been blocked, the Financial Times reports. It is understood that the Competition Commission has upheld telecom regulator Ofcom’s decision to bar the telco from including deficit repair charges from the cost base that determines how it charges alternative operators for wholesale broadband access in those areas of the country where competition remains limited. BT had called on the Competition Commission to rule that Ofcom had, in fact, made an error with its original judgement, amid hopes that a ruling in its favour could have been worth in the ‘low tens of millions of pounds’ to its network arm Openreach, according to a source with a knowledge of the matter. Following the latest development BT said that it was disappointed with the outcome of its appeal, adding that it would reconsider its position. ‘Although the Competition Commission agreed with BT on a number of points, it ultimately concluded that Ofcom had not erred in how it applied its regulatory judgment,’ a BT spokesman was cited as saying.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Ofcom