Judgment of the Tribunal in relation to an appeal by Virgin Media Limited (“VM”) against a decision of the Office of Communications (“Ofcom”) dated 16 November 2018 entitled “Confirmation Decision under section 96C of the Communications Act 2003” (the “Decision”).
As set out in the Decision, Ofcom found that, between 1 September 2016 and 22 August 2017, VM contravened General Condition 9.3 (“GC 9.3”) and General Condition 9.2(j) by charging its customers too much when they decided to leave their fixed-term contracts early and switch to another communications provider, and by not publishing information about these early termination charges that was up-to-date and which its customers could understand. Ofcom imposed a penalty of £7m on VM in respect of the contraventions.
VM challenged the Decision on three grounds:
Ofcom erred in law by treating VM’s overcharges to customers as amounting to a contravention of GC 9.3;
Ofcom’s decision to impose a penalty of £7m was arbitrary and unfair and not adequately reasoned; and
The penalty imposed by Ofcom was disproportionate.
For the reasons given in the Judgment, the Tribunal unanimously dismissed VM’s appeal against Ofcom’s findings as regards VM’s liability for contravention of GC 9.3 and the penalty imposed.
This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.