BT loses appeal in dispute over charges for high-speed circuits

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BT has lost an appeal against a long-running dispute over its charges for high-speed circuits.

Thursday’s decision upholds a 2012 ruling from Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, that the telecoms company had over-charged its rivals £95m for ethernet services between 2006 and 2011.

It is a fresh blow for the UK-based company, which reports full-year results next week, after Ofcom imposed a £42m fine on the business in March and told it to repay £300m to rivals over delays in installing ethernet circuits.

BT appealed the 2012 ruling and argued that Ofcom did not have the right to force it to pay an additional £22m in interest charges to competitors including Cable & Wireless, now part of Vodafone. A ruling in its favour could have set a precedent for BT in challenges to other Ofcom decisions.

The Court of Appeal has, however, ruled in Ofcom’s favour. BT said it has not ruled out a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

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