Competition Act investigation regarding the provision of equipment and related services in the electronic communication sector

07 June 2019

Open

Investigation into Providers of equipment and related services in the electronic communications sector in the UK
Case opened 07 June 2019
Summary

This investigation will establish whether competitors in the provision of equipment and related services in the electronic communications sector in the UK have infringed competition law through the potential sharing of commercially sensitive information, including information on future pricing.

Relevant legal provision(s)

Section 2 of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Ofcom has opened an investigation under the Competition Act 1998 (the “Act”) into the potential sharing of commercially sensitive information, including information on future pricing, between competitors in the provision of equipment and related services in the electronic communications sector in the UK.

Section 2 of the Act prohibits agreements and concerted practices between undertakings that have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, where this may affect trade within the UK (the “Chapter I prohibition”). Similarly, Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the “TFEU”) prohibits agreements and concerted practices between undertakings that have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, where this may affect trade between Member States.

This investigation will examine the potential sharing of commercially sensitive information between competitors in the provision of equipment and related services in the electronic communications sector in the UK and determine whether there has been one or more infringements of the Chapter I prohibition and/or Article 101 of the TFEU.

Process

This investigation will follow the procedures set out in our published Enforcement Guidelines (PDF, 1007.1 KB). In the first phase of the investigation, Ofcom will gather further information using its powers under the Act. The analysis of this information will help inform Ofcom’s view on whether and how to proceed with the investigation.

This investigation is at an early stage and we have not reached a view on whether there has been an infringement of competition law. If Ofcom finds there is sufficient evidence of one or more infringements of competition law, we will issue a Statement of Objections to the relevant providers. We will keep this page updated with key developments as the case progresses.


Case leader

Sarah Packwood (sarah.packwood@ofcom.org.uk)

Case reference CW/01241/05/19