BT loses case against Oftel
Saturday 21 December 1996
The ruling, which was warmly welcomed by rival telephone operators, means from the new year that Oftel, Mr Cruickshank's watchdog body, will be able to intervene to ban any action by BT which he believes could thwart competition. BT had claimed Mr Cruickshank was acting unlawfully by elevating himself judge and jury over the company's affairs with no right of appeal.
The ruling, which has widespread implications for UK competition law, will now be extended by Oftel to other telecommunications operators and will also be applied to BSkyB as it rolls out its digital satellite television service.
Simon Holmes, a leading competition lawyer with City firm SJ Berwin explained: "It is another step towards a more competition-orientated regime and another step away from a system which is purely focused on specific regulation. It's a trend which we are anticipating for other regulated industries as competition takes hold."
Pointing to the transformation in the telecommunications industry since Oftel was created at the time of BT's privatisation in 1984, Lord Justice Phillips and Mr Justice Hooper agreed the system of regulation should also be allowed to evolve. However, they admitted that the new licence condition, which mirrors European law, was a "novelty".
Ironically, BT also lost on what the judges said was its strongest argument, that Oftel had unlawfully removed the right of appeal to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, because the company had already consented to the new powers. The court challenge was to test their legal validity.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
African jawbone discovery pushes birth of humanity back by 400,000 years
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
iJobs Money & Business
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...