On 28th of October 2013 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) opened hearings for BT’s Appeal of Ofcom’s Determination regarding the historic prices of its wholesale ethernet services. The CAT heard BT’s appeal, Ofcom’s defence and the supporting arguments of intervening Communication Providers.
Ofcom’s Determination on wholesale Ethernet services is the subject of BT’s appeal and the Determination stems from the complaints of five operators regarding the prices they paid for BT’s wholesale Ethernet services. In July 2010, British Sky Broadcasting Limited and TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC submitted a joint Dispute regarding BT’s wholesale Ethernet prices during the period 2004-2009. Later in 2010, 2011 and 2012 Virgin Media Limited, Cable and Wireless Worldwide plc and Verizon respectively brought Disputes to Ofcom regarding BT’s charges for Ethernet services during various periods. Ofcom published a single conclusion regarding these disputes on 20 December 2012 which found that:
- “BT has overcharged for a number of services which are the subject of these Disputes;”
- “BT has overcharged the Disputing [Communications Providers] a total of £94.8 million during the Relevant Period; and”
- BT should refund the Disputing [Communications Providers] the amounts overpaid…” (see Ofcom’s Determination for further information)
In BT’s appeal to the CAT it challenges each of Ofcom’s findings both as a matter of fact and law, and also challenges the directions for repayment as a matter of the exercise of Ofcom’s discretion. DotEcon provided a number of Expert Reports in support of BT’s Appeal.
Dr Dan Maldoom gave evidence during the CAT’s hearing, which ended on 15 November 2013. The parties now await the publication of the CAT’s Decision.