MMC takes jaundiced view of Yellow Pages
Friday 22 March 1996
John Taylor , the competition and consumer affairs minister, accepted the report and its recommendation that BT reduce its classified advertising charges by 2 per cent a year in real terms. On the basis of yesterday's inflation figures, prices for ads will rise by less than 1 per cent a year.
The MMC also found that the publication by BTYP of local directories was likely to "seriously weaken competition". They recommended that the company should be prohibited from covering any area with more than one classified directory.
BT is currently considering its position on the weightier matter of whether to go to the Monopolies Commission for arbitration on the recommendation from industry regulator Oftel that its retail prices should be capped at between 5 and 9 per cent below the rate of inflation. Those proposals, which BT called "severe" and "disappointing", could result in telephone bills falling by 27 per cent in real terms in the four years from 1997.
Mr Taylor stopped short of endorsing the MMC's call for BTYP to be established as a subsidiary of BT. He said the report showed that the existing relationship between BT and BTYP appears to confer no significant favours on BTYP and thought the costs of such a separation too high to justify a demerger.
But he said he had decided that BT should be required to publish annual accounts for BTYP to make the profitability of its classified directory advertising business public and transparent, and to encourage competition: "The Director General of Fair Trading will keep the market under review and I have asked him to report back in three years time, or earlier if necessary, on the effectiveness of the remedies."
BT said Yellow Pages would co-operate fully with MMC recommendations. But it was disappointed that the Government had accepted the plan to impose price controls. A spokesman said: "The report itself acknowledges that price controls can pose a serious consequential threat to other directory publishers, accepting the point that such controls can be counter-productive in encouraging the development of competition."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 2 Orange Is The New Black has not been cancelled – it was a hoax
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...