The Court of Appeal questions the Competition Appeal Tribunal pay-TV ruling

9 December 2013

The Court of Appeal held full day hearings on 5 and 6 December 2013 in response to the appeal by BT against the earlier verdict of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) published on 12 August 2012 that the core competition concerns that led to Ofcom’s Wholesale Must Offer (WMO) remedy were not justified by the evidence

Although it may take some weeks or months before the verdict is published, the hearing appeared to run in BT’s favour (contrary to what we had anticipated), as the judges seemed convinced that the CAT had made an important mistake in not assessing whether Ofcom’s price proposals were a reasonable response to Sky’s dominance in retailing premium pay-TV sports

It looks as though the Court of Appeal will send the case back, saying that the CAT must now properly examine whether Ofcom’s WMO price levels were set carefully and appropriately. The CAT will not redo Ofcom’s work but rather it will check that its methods were reasonable and well thought through

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