BT to take Sky Sports wholesale price judgement to appeal court

Editor | 27-04-2013

In another twist to a case that shows no likelihood of ending any time soon, BT has been given leave to appeal a UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruling on how much it has to pay BSkyB to offer Sky Sports.

The issue dates back to 2010 when UK regulator Ofcom ruled that BSkyB had to discount the price it charged other UK pay-TV platforms, notably Virgin Media cable TV and the BT Vision IPTV service, to offer the key Sky Sports packages. Indeed Ofcom set a wholesale price 23.4% cheaper than the then current benchmark.
Not surprisingly Sky took Ofcom to court and on 8 August 2012 the CAT ruled that Ofcom’s competition concerns in relation to the wholesale supply of Sky Sports were unfounded. Moreover the CAT concluded that the commercial terms of supply of the time, particularly in relation to Sky’s wholesale rate card, did not obstruct fair and effective competition in the retailing of Sky Sports across platforms.
Commenting on the new judgement, a BT spokesperson told Rapid TV News: “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has granted BT permission to appeal the CAT’s pay-TV judgment and we look forward to explaining in the forthcoming trial why BT believes that the CAT’s judgment on this matter was incorrect.”