BT wins more time to fight £42m overcharge case

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has granted BT extra time to prepare its appeal against an Ofcom finding that it overcharged other network operators almost £42m for partial private circuits for five years

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has granted BT extra time to prepare its appeal against an Ofcom finding that it overcharged other network operators almost £42m for partial private circuits for five years.

In early 2009 Cable & Wireless UK, Virgin Media, Global Crossing, Verizon and Colt (collectively, the Altnets) complained to Ofcom that BT was overcharging for network circuits they hired from BT.

After a lengthy investigation Ofcom decided the complaint had merits, and determined that BT should pay back the amounts it had overcharged.

BT appealed, asking whether Ofcom had jurisdiction over historical matters and whether there was a competitive issue at stake. The tribunal last week decided in favour of Ofcom, and set aside eight days from 20 October to hear the main appeal.

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