1156/8/3/10 Virgin Media, Inc. v Office of Communications

Virgin Media, Inc. v Office of Communications

Case number:

1156/8/3/10 Registered: 28/5/2010


Summary of appeal published on 8 June 2010. By an Order dated 8 June 2010, the time for making a request for permission to intervene was abridged until 21 June 2010.

A case management conference took place on 25 June 2010, at which RFL (Governing Body) Ltd, Top Up TV Europe Ltd, The Football Association Ltd, Freesat (UK) Ltd, Rugby Football Union, The Football League Ltd, PGA European Tour, England and Wales Cricket Board were granted permission to intervene. Virgin Media, Inc., The Football Association Premier League, British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and British Telecommunications plc were also granted permission to intervene in each of the appeals, save their own. The President’s Ruling in respect of certain requests for permission to intervene and the extent of the additional undertaking which the BT in-house lawyers should provide as a pre-condition of their membership of the proposed confidentiality ring was also handed down on 25 June 2010. The President also made an Order on 25 June 2010 establishing the timetable for the future course of the appeals.

On 29 June 2010 the President made an Order establishing a confidentiality ring for the exchange of confidential information between the external and certain internal advisers of all the parties.

A further case management conference took place on 6 October 2010 and a pre-hearing review took place on 23 March 2011. On 25 March 2011, the Tribunal ordered that Cases No. 1170/8/3/10 (“the STB appeal”) and 1179/8/3/11 (“the CAM appeal”) be heard together with Cases No. 1156-1159/3/3/10 (“the Pay TV appeals”) to the extent described in the Tribunal’s Order.

The appeals in Cases 1156/8/3/10, 1157/8/3/10, 1158/8/3/10 and 1159/8/3/10 were heard together between 9 May 2011 and 15 July 2011.

At a hearing on 8 August 2012, the Tribunal announced its judgment. A non-confidential version of the judgment was published on 26 October 2012.

A hearing to consider certain matters consequential to the Tribunal’s judgment in the Pay TV appeals took place on 6 February 2013. On 7 February 2013, the Tribunal made a ruling refusing BT’s request for permission to appeal the Tribunal’s judgment of 8 August 2012. The Tribunal's ruling in relation to certain consequential matters was handed down on 27 February 2013.

On 26 April 2013 the Court of Appeal made an order granting BT permission to appeal the Tribunal’s judgment of 8 August 2012.

A ruling in relation to costs applications by Sky and FAPL as well as the disposal of FAPL’s appeal was handed down on 9 May 2013 ([2013] CAT 9). On 25 June 2013, the Tribunal made a ruling ([2013] CAT 14) on an application by Ofcom for permission to appeal the Tribunal’s costs order in these proceedings.
On 7 August 2013, the President made an Order suspending the effect of paragraph 3 of the President’s Order dated 17 May 2013.

On 17 February 2014 the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in relation to an appeal brought by British Telecommunications Plc against the Tribunal’s judgment of 8 August 2012. By order dated 28 February 2014 the Court of Appeal set aside the Tribunal’s orders of 6 March 2013 and 17 May 2013 and remitted to the Tribunal for further consideration the question of whether the WMO remedy was justified on the basis of competition concerns arising out of the rate-card price. On 30 October 2014 the Supreme Court refused permission to appeal.

A hearing took place on 26 and 27 March 2015 to hear the parties on whether the original Tribunal should deal with the remitted question or whether a new Tribunal should be constituted. The ruling was given on 6 May 2015. On 22 June 2015, following an application by BT, the Tribunal refused permission to appeal ([2015] CAT 12).

On 27 July 2015 the Court of Appeal made an order refusing BT permission to appeal. On 29 September 2015 BT’s renewed application for permission to appeal was also refused.

Orders giving case management directions were made on 15 October 2015 and 3 November 2015. On 2 December 2015 the Chairman made a ruling ([2015] CAT 16) refusing a request by BT for disclosure, for the purpose of facilitating consideration of relevant issues at the case management conference, of the confidential version of Ofcom’s Review of the pay TV wholesale must-offer obligation dated 19 November 2015. A case management conference took place on 3 December 2015. At this CMC, the Sky and BT agreed in principle to withdraw their respective appeals.

By Order dated 18 December 2015 the Tribunal gave permission for the appellants to withdraw their appeals, on agreed terms, in cases 1152 (IR), 1156-1159, 1170 and 1179. A further Order, recording the agreement reached between Sky and Top Up TV, was made on 13 January 2016.

Diary events for this case:

  • There are currently no forthcoming diary events for this case.
  • 25 Jun 2010 | 10.30am - Case management conference
  • 6 Oct 2010 | 2pm - Case management conference
  • 23 Mar 2011 | 2pm - Pre-hearing review
  • 27 May 2011 | 4pm - Case management conference
  • 9 May 2011 (time estimate of 9 weeks) | 10.30am - Hearing
  • 8 Aug 2012 | 4.30pm - Announcement of Judgment
  • 6 Feb 2013 | 10.30am - Hearing
  • 27 Feb 2013 | 1.55pm - Handing down - Ruling (Consequential matters)
  • 9 May 2013 | 3pm - Handing down - Ruling ((1) Costs and (2) Disposal of FAPL's appeal)
  • 26 Mar 2015 | 2pm (27 March 2015 | 2pm in reserve) - Hearing - Remittal (Preliminary issue)
  • 6 May 2015 | 2pm - Ruling (Constitution of the Tribunal)
  • 3 Dec 2015 | 10.30am - Case management conference (Remittal)