British Telecommunications Plc v Office of Communications (NCCN 1007/Ethernet)
 CAT 15
The Competition Appeal Tribunal unanimously dismissed two appeals brought by BT against decisions of Ofcom to accept two sets of disputes referred to Ofcom pursuant to section 185 of the Communications Act 2003. The appeals raised issues including the proper definition of a “dispute” for the purposes of Ofcom’s statutory jurisdiction and the circumstances in which continuing commercial negotiations between allegedly disputing parties might prevent Ofcom from accepting a dispute. The Tribunal also considered whether the fact of pending appeals before the Tribunal in related cases, which might offer guidance in the proper resolution of a dispute, could prevent Ofcom from exercising its statutory powers. The judgment is likely to be of wider interest to all communications providers intent on referring disputes to Ofcom.
Pushpinder Saini QC and Hanif Mussa appeared for Ofcom.
James Segan appeared for an intervener, Virgin Media Ltd.