CAT 23
9 Dec 2004
Appeal by British Telecommunications PLC (“BT”) pursuant to section 192 of the Communications Act 2003 (the “2003 Act”) against a notification by the Director General of Telecommunications. The contested notification found that the Director General had reasonable grounds for believing that BT was acting in contravention of General Condition 1.2 of the General Conditions of Entitlement made by the Director General pursuant to section 48(1) of the 2003 Act.
BT’s contravention of General Condition 1.2 was said to arise from its use of customer-specific information in the context of Carrier Pre-Selection or “CPS”. CPS is a service that permits customers to transfer some or all of their calls to an alternative communications provider while retaining an existing BT telephone line and without it being necessary to dial additional codes or use special equipment. BT wished to use information gained from alternative providers to conduct marketing activity during a 10-ady “cooling-off period” in an attempt to persuade customers not to transfer to the alternative provider.
The Tribunal upheld the notification subject to possible further consideration of the definition of “marketing activity” set out in the contested notification. Following a further hearing on 10 March 2005 OFCOM and BT agreed the terms of BT’s “Notification of Transfer Letter” sent to BT customers during the cooling-off period.
This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.