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BT backs down in ‘substantial discount’ row

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BT has climbed-down over allegations that it offered a "substantial discount" to a major corporate customer in a bid to trump a competitor.

A week or so ago telecoms watchdog Oftel issued a provisional order against BT, claiming that the telco had "breached its licence by failing to make transparent and publish information about a discount it offered to a customer".

In other words, the regulator alleged the dominant telco put together a more competitive deal than was available to other business customers.

The provisional order followed a complaint by global virtual network operator, Vanco UK Ltd, in December 2002, which claimed it was in the final stages of securing a contract with a major corporate over the provision of analogue and ISDN lines.

Vanco alleged that when BT found out about the contract, it used its indirect sales channel to introduce a substantial discount to the customer.

At the time a spokesman for BT said that it would "comply with the order if we believe we've done anything wrong."

Today, Oftel confirmed that BT had withdrawn the discount in compliance with the provisional order.

A spokesman for BT said: "An amicable solution has been reached." ®

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