Oftel ban on BT /BSkyB deal

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The Independent Online
Oftel, the telecoms watchdog, last night barred BT from operating a controversial joint marketing scheme with BSkyB, the satellite company owned 40 per cent by Rupert Murdoch.

Don Cruickshank, Oftel's director-general, said the marketing deal under which satellite subscribers got free telephone calls from BT breached the terms of BT's licence, and ordered an immediate end to the scheme.

"It seems to me that this promotion is discriminatory in that it targets, and offers continuing benefits to, only those who become and remain customers of both BT and BSkyB," Mr Cruickshank said. A BT spokesman said it was baffled by the move.

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