Oftel losing the 'David and Goliath' battle
Wednesday 12 August 1998
The Commons Public Accounts Committee said that the watchdog had not been proactive enough in rooting out anti-competitive behaviour in the phone industry.
While companies such as BT had vast resources and expertise to call on, Oftel lacked staff with commercial experience or knowledge of competition legislation. Even though anti-competitive behaviour often resulted in higher prices, poor service and less choice for consumers, only 10 per cent of the investigations were initiated by Oftel, the committee claimed in a report published today.
In 217 investigations into unfair competition between 1995 and 1997, just 8 per cent resulted in formal enforcement action. Worse still, just 18 of the watchdog's 180 staff worked on competition issues, the MPs said.
Committee chairman David Davis said that regulation could only be effective where the skills of the regulator matched those of the regulated.
"Since the industry has so many more resources than the regulator, the quality, experience and training of the regulator's staff are of paramount importance," he said.
"Such staff should be well trained and include some who are familiar with the way commercial organisations work. In such 'David and Goliath' situations, we need to make sure that David is well-armed."
The committee also warned that it remained concerned about the price of BT's ISDN lines, increasingly common phone connections that allow computerised information to be sent at high speed. A spokesman for Oftel said that its director general, David Edmonds, had already launched a review of all aspects of Oftel's organisation and funding which is due to be completed in early Autumn.
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of a crying Orlando Bloom after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Air Algerie AH5017 crash: Jet fell 30,000 feet in three minutes ‘due to violent storm’
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sales - Trainee Recruitment Co...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Progressive Recruitment are cu...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...