BT statement on preliminary judgment for Court of Appeal case

  • BT will continue to vigorously defend itself against the speculative claim of overcharging
  • Ofcom assessed the subject of the claim over four years ago with no finding of excessive pricing or breach of competition law more generally
  • BT’s social tariff and leadership in Customer Fairness demonstrate BT’s commitment to Connect for Good

Following the Court of Appeal’s ruling on a procedural matter of certification, BT will continue to vigorously defend itself against the class action claim, which accuses BT of anti-competitive behaviour towards its landline customers.

BT regrets being drawn into speculative litigation on a topic Ofcom considered more than four years ago. At that time, Ofcom’s final statement made no finding of excessive pricing or breach of competition law more generally. This claim seeks to hold against BT the fact that it implemented a voluntary commitment to reduce prices for customers that have a BT landline only and not to increase those prices beyond inflation (CPI).

BT takes its responsibilities to customers very seriously. Since 2008 BT has offered a low income social tariff and last year launched BT Home Essentials to include futureproof fibre connectivity at a time when online resources have never been more important. BT staff are fully trained to work with vulnerable customers, offering priority fault repair. BT’s pandemic response included the provision of free text, data and minutes for those who needed it most. Our Digital Skills programme, Lockdown Learning support and a major focus on leading in Customer Fairness clearly demonstrate that BT wants to live up to its purpose and Connect for Good.

A BT Spokesperson said: “We strongly disagree with the speculative claim being brought against us. We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.

"We take pride in our work on the Customer Fairness agenda. For many years we’ve offered a discounted social tariff in what is a competitive market with competing options available, and, last year we extended that to help a potential four million households on low incomes save on bills and stay connected to vital services now available to access online, on the phone or via our nationwide retail stores.

“We assure our customers that we will not let this claim disrupt the relationship BT has with them.”

About BT

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2021, BT Group’s reported revenue was £21,331m with reported profit before taxation of £1,804m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about