UK’s Competition Tribunal Says BT Can’t Appeal Class Action

UK BT has confirmed they will appeal the preliminary ruling by the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT), which last month rejected the operator’s attempts to stop a £600 million (US$828.66 million) class action claim against the broadband and phone operator – this related to the alleged overcharging of over 2 million landline-only customers.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal stated BT has “no real prospect” of success and did not see why an appeal was necessary over its ruling that the claim should proceed as an opt-out collective action.

However, the judge said the tribunal unanimously agreed that BT must apply to the Court of Appeal to seek permission to challenge the decision.

The lawsuit is a collective proceedings order authorising a claim brought on behalf of 2.3 million Britons who used to have a BT voice-only phone line. Yet included within the class of people legally permitted to join the case are the deceased – or, rather, their living “personal representatives.”

Earlier this year the CAT ruled that former Ofcom man Justin Le Patourel, the lead claimant, could proceed with his case against the UK telecom after alleging it had abused its market dominance to unfairly overcharge customers who bought standalone domestic phone lines.

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