Feeds

BT faces EC investigation over business rates

Illegal government aid?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

BT is under investigation by the European Commission for receiving unfair government assistance.

Optical networking company Vtesse made the complaint to the European Commission. It alleges that the business rates which BT pays for its local loop network are too low.

Aidan Paul, chief exec of Vtesse, told The Register: "BT is taxed at a disproportionately favourable rate and that rate is set in a different way to everyone else's. Any form of differential taxing is illegal: it's state aid. We will be pushing for the Commission to make full recovery of this money which we estimate to be £12bn since 1995."

Paul claims that the rates which local operators pay the government for network infrastructure are based on rental value. But BT's rates are calculated differently and are substantially less than those paid by other operators. He confirmed that the company made a complaint to the EC earlier this year.

A spokesman for BT said: "We've received no notification from either the government or the Commission so this is something of a surprise. If there is an inquiry of course we will co-operate fully but as far as we are concerned the agreement we reached with the Valuation Office was completely above board."

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which is responsible for business rates, confirmed it had been approached by European officials and was considering its response, according to Reuters.

Vtesse previously, and unsuccessfully, accused BT of predatory pricing - offering customers cheaper deals than those it advertises. The company complained to Ofcom but the case was closed in November 2003. ®

Related stories

Telcos muscle in on IT
Ofcom calls BT tariff changes 'a surprise'
Ofcom starts urgent investigation into BT tariffs

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.