Freeserve to continue BT ‘predatory pricing’ fight

Oftel ruling 'fundamentally flawed'

Freeserve is to launch yet another legal challenge to try and prove that BT was involved in predatory pricing more than 18 months ago.

Last month, soon-to-be-extinct telecoms regulator Oftel rejected claims that BT was guilty of predatory pricing in the broadband market after being forced to re-examine the case following the intervention of the Competition Appeal Tribunals (CAT), the UK's highest specialist competition law court.

Now Freeserve is to go back to the CAT and appeal Oftel's decision that BT was not engaged in anti-competitive pricing.

In a statement Freeserve said: "It is clear that we disagree with a number of the key assumptions and conclusions in the decision, which we believe is fundamentally flawed on factual, legal and methodological bases.

"Given the importance of achieving sustainable competition in the broadband market we believe it in the interests of all parties involved that clarity and certainty is brought to this area as soon as possible and will be looking to get the Appeal filed with the CAT at the earliest opportunity."

Combine Freeserve's assertion that Oftel's re-investigation into the matter was "fundamentally flawed" in just about every aspect, with the idea that the new communications regulator, Ofcom, might not be so impotent as Oftel, and Freeserve reckons its chances of success are pretty good.

A spokesman for BT declined to be drawn on the matter, except to say: "Let's hope the new regulator puts in some kind of filtering system to weed out such spurious claims that take up substantial resource from both parties." ®

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