Feeds

BT faces EC investigation over business rates

Illegal government aid?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.