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.
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...