Three UK CEO calls on Ofcom to consider restrictive measures for BT in upcoming spectrum auction

7 Jun 2016

David Dyson, the chief executive of the UK’s smallest mobile network operator by subscribers, Three UK, has called on Ofcom to introduce ‘fairly significant restrictions’ on BT in an upcoming 4G spectrum auction. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Dyson raised particular concerns over the possibility that the fixed line incumbent could outbid operators, while also highlighting BT’s current spectrum holdings in the wake of its acquisition of cellco EE. ‘The combination of BT and EE is incredibly strong financially. It has got the financial ability to outcompete everyone in the market in how much they are willing to pay,’ the executive was cited as saying, adding: ‘Potentially, given how much spectrum they are already sitting on, BT is incentivised to strategically bid in the next auction to restrict the other operators in the market from increasing their spectrum portfolio … That could make life difficult.’ To counter the potential problem, it is understood that Three UK has suggested measures including forcing BT to relinquish spectrum before it would be allowed to purchase any more.