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Court rules 3G licences weren't VAT inclusive

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Europe's highest court has ruled that the huge amounts telcos paid for their 3G licences didn't include VAT, so there's no opportunity for the companies to reclaim £3.3bn quid from the treasury.

The companies have long argued that the amount paid must have included the tax, which could then be reclaimed, and the case has been wending its way though national and international courts leading to today's ruling. This is, however, the end of the line with no scope for appeal.

The total cost of the various legal challenges isn't known, nor is it clear who drew up the documents which allowed such ambiguity to exist, but at least we can be clear that the £22bn spent on the 3G licenses was exclusive of VAT.®

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