The final call-(12.09.04)

There is one final UK monopoly showdown with a regulator that needs to reach a conclusion - BT. Whilst call price charge competition does appear to be in existence between new entrants to the market, BTs response, such as cheap weekend and evening calls, often appears to be more anti-competitive than the result of genuine price competition. Local loop unbundling, the process by which operators can get access to the local network, does not seem to stop BT obtaining dominance in new markets such as broadband.

A new regulator, OFCOM, is in town and appears to at last be more willing to attach BT over the domestic market than its predecessor OFTEL did. The question is, will the ultimate sanction of breaking up BT into regulated and non-regulated businesses be the ultimate solution. Even if OFCOM doesn't come to this conclusion now, it is only a matter of time before lawyers for the rivals start the legal action required that will ultimately result in the break-up of BT.