Competition law injunction in Truphone v T-Mobile

High Court judgment (about 15 pages) granting an interim injunction to Truphone, a supplier of combined mobile and fixed-line voice-over-IP telephony, against T-Mobile. T-Mobile is ordered to allow its customers to call Truphone numbers.

However, the termination rates to be paid to Truphone under the interim injunction may be insufficient to cover the costs incurred by Truphone when it has to route calls onwards to the customer's mobile phone. Truphone appears to intend to ask Ofcom to resolve the dispute over charges under the Communications Act 2003, rather than in court under Article 82 or the Competition Act 1998 as part of the substantive claim (due "forthwith") backing up its request for an interim injunction.

More information (seems to have disappeared now [Franck Sat Mar 8 10:25:53 2008]) from Truphone. Background from The Register.

In line with AAH v Pfizer, the OFT approach to pharmaceutical distribution, and general OFT policy statements, this case appears to confirm the need to go to court, rather than an administrative regulator such as Ofcom, when there is urgency in a competition dispute. The judge said:

60. I asked Ms Carss-Frisk QC, for Truphone, why Truphone had not taken the present dispute to Ofcom first, rather than the Court. Ms Carss-Frisk referred in answer to the resource limits at Ofcom and to the urgency in the present dispute.

61. I am quite satisfied that it was appropriate to bring the matter before the Court. Moreover the matter is obviously one that the Court is equipped to deal with. ...

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Article 82, Ofcom, UK courts.

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