Jan 18, 2021

BT cannot hang up on a class action distraction

On top of the auctions for 5G spectrum and English Premiership rights due this quarter, as well as the pension fund and wholesale market reviews due before summer, the BT chief executive now has to repel an attempt to introduce class actions to the UK courts. The case against BT looks more simple, yet it is still far from straightforward. While market dominance forced BT into being the market's last-man-standing for landline connections, Ofcom found that the company exploited its position as price setter from 2013 onwards. While the fight for compensation is likely to be little more than another long and convoluted distraction for BT management, broader fears of a US-style ambulance-chasing legal culture to the UK still seem largely theoretical. Demand rose last year, with originations up 17 per cent to £2.7bn and by an even more impressive 41 per cent in the second half.

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