In the largest private competition action to reach the UK courts, mobile telephone operator ‘3’ has issued proceedings against rival operators O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. The case began in the Commercial Court on 4 December 2007 under Mr Justice David Steel. The claimant alleges that in 2005, the other four mobile phone operators abused their collective majority position on the Operating Steering Group (a telecommunications self-regulatory body that works alongside the Office of Communications) to vote in favour of maintaining a five-day delay period for switching a mobile phone number to alternative mobile service providers. The service is important for customers who wish to switch networks, but retain their mobile phone number. It is claimed that the process is actually much quicker than five days, and other EU countries manage to offer the service within a few hours.
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'3' initiates £250m competition claim against mobile phone rivals
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