EE Loses Appeal Over Mobile Connection Fees Cut in Half by Ofcom

EE, the wireless operator owned by Deutsche Telekom AG and France Telecom SA, lost a bid to overturn the U.K. telecommunication regulator’s decision to limit what mobile companies can charge to connect to other networks.

EE challenged Ofcom’s 2011 reduction of so-called termination rates by more than half, a move that is expected to cost operators about 200 million pounds ($302 million) a year, appeals court judge Alan Moses said in a written ruling today. He agreed with an earlier decision by the Competition Appeal Tribunal and rejected EE’s claim.

BT Group Plc, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.’s U.K unit and Vodafone Group Plc have all appealed aspects of Ofcom’s changes, which must be implemented by 2014.

David Nieberg, a spokesman for EE, said the company was disappointed with the ruling. Ofcom spokesman Joe Smithies declined to comment.

Deutsche Telecom said in February an initial public offering of EE shares would take place later this year, depending on market conditions. The U.K.’s largest wireless carrier has attracted interest from private equity firms and may be worth about 7 billion pounds, according to Raymond James Euro Equities analysts.

The case is British Telecommunications PLC & Ors -v- Office of Communications, Appeal of 2nd Appellant from the order of The Competition Appeal Tribunal, dated 8th May 2012, filed 20th June 2012. C3/2012/1523

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