Ofcom fines Virgin and MS3 for providing information late

19 February 2019

Ofcom has today fined Virgin Media £25,000, and MS3 £2,000, after both companies missed the deadline for responding to a formal information request, as part of an Ofcom market review.

We regularly request information from companies as part of our work to protect consumers across all the markets we regulate.

This information is vital to our decision-making, and companies are required by law to respond by the deadline, with accurate and complete information. If companies fail to do this, they face action from Ofcom.

Last year, we requested information from Virgin Media and MS3 – a fibre network operator based in Hull and East Yorkshire – about their networks and services.

The requests were part of our review of the market for ‘leased lines’ – dedicated, high-speed data connections used by large businesses, mobile operators and broadband providers.

Virgin Media and MS3 both submitted information beyond the set deadline, and gave no reasonable explanation for the delay. We take such failings seriously and have decided to fine both companies. We have also reminded them of the importance of responding to formal information requests by the deadlines set.

Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s Director of Investigations and Enforcement, said: “The information we request from companies is crucial to our work to protect consumers. That’s why there are clear rules in place to make sure companies provide us with the right information, at the right time. Any company that breaks these rules can expect to face enforcement action.”

Previously, we have fined Virgin Media £25k for failing to provide complete information. We have also fined BT £300k and £70k for failing to comply with formal information requests, and have fined smaller providers Gateway (c.£15k) and Cloud M (£8k).

The money raised from these fines is passed on to HM Treasury.

The amount of money we decide to fine a company always reflects the circumstances of the case, including the seriousness of the infringement and the size of the company. Another network operator, CityFibre, also failed to submit information to us on time as part of the leased lines review. However, this was due to an administrative error, and given the specific circumstances of this case, we have decided not to fine the company.