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BT denies Govt investigation

Oh, and Sir Pete has a pop at 3G payouts

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Contrary to earlier reports BT is not to be investigated by the British Government, according to a spokesman for the monster telco.

Responding to a story which appeared in the Times earlier this week, the spokesman said the Government was set to investigate the role of the regulator, Oftel, not BT.

The report said that Lord Haskins - affectionately called the 'red tape czar' - would lead an investigation next month into the telco and its hold on the network.

Clarifying the story, a BT spokesman said: "They're looking at regulation, not BT. It may even ease rigorous controls on BT."

Elsewhere, BT's dapper CE, Sir Peter Bonfield, has expressed his surprise at the amount of cash raised by third-generation phone auctions in Europe.

According to Bloomberg which quoted a Telegraph story, which in turn cited a TV interview broadcast by CNBC, Sir Peter said he was a little taken aback at the amount some Governments had "extracted" from telcos for the licences.

Sir Peter didn't name any specific Governments but he did say that the size of the pay out would make an impact upon the return.

BT has spent around £10 billion acquiring 3G licences in Britain, Germany and Holland, which has helped pump up its debt to around £20 billion. ®

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