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UK government urged to tackle mobile charges

Phone companies accused of ripping off customers

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The mobile phone industry has come under attack by campaigners eager to make it part of the government’s fight against "rip-off Britain." Pressure groups have urged trade secretary Stephen Byers to crack down on cellular phone companies for charging more than their counterparts overseas. The move came after it was revealed that some off-peak charges had been hiked by as much as 1,500 per cent. Peter Richardson, Dataquest principal analyst, was not in favour of legislating against the problem, saying market forces would take care of the situation. He added: "It would not be good to see a regulator intervening. There is a already a lot of competition in this area, which is on the increase. Mobile phone companies are keen to get the level of penetration in the UK they have in countries like Finland." ®

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