Three UK begins legal action against EE over shared base station access

26 May 2016

Three UK, the British subsidiary of Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison, has reportedly launched legal action against rival mobile network operator EE, seeking more than GBP167 million (USD244.7 million) in lost profits. According to This Is Money, the matter relates to a network sharing deal between the two companies: Three previously agreed to share infrastructure with T-Mobile UK, and when the latter merged with Orange UK in 2010 it did so on the condition that Three would be able to access 3,000 of the enlarged entity’s base stations. Now, court papers have suggested that in the six years since the updated deal, EE has enabled Three to access just 1,301 base stations. As such, Three has claimed that this has limited its ability to provide coverage to customers in certain areas, estimating that resulting losses have already run to GBP127.9 million, while it expects future losses of around GBP39 million. Commenting on the matter, however, an unnamed spokesperson for EE was cited as saying: ‘We strongly reject the allegations and we will contest them vigorously.’

United Kingdom, EE, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK)