Monday, June 27, 2005

BT: press, market and competitors respond

Look at how several papers and sites respond to Ofcom preparation for a new regulatory approach and ruling (with this statement) on BT's February proposal for better competition, followed by yesterday's support.
  • The Register: BT bows to Ofcom pressure
  • The Register: BT still needs to be policed, says industry
  • The Register: BT escapes threat of immediate break-up
  • BT avoids break-up talks with Ofcom deal
  • BT agrees to spin off Access Services
  • PC Magazine UK: Ofcom buries the hatchet with BT
  • Reuters: BT spearheads FTSE advance, break-up fears recede

I suppose it's all philosophical:

  • In ancient history BT enjoyed having a monopoly.
  • Some 25 years ago this ended as the market was liberalised and Mercury Communications was established by Cable & Wireless.
  • In 1984 BT went public and Oftel (now Ofcom) was created.
  • The BT/Mercury duopoly ended in 1991. Resellers entered the market.
  • As competition remains limited, yesterday's new regulatory approach should usher in a new era.
Of course, the market continually anticipates the next move. One could say, 'foresight is the essence of investing'. Still, the news was followed by a 4% rally up.

However, from an article on Light Reading:

Clive Ansell, BT's Group Strategy Director, (...) says he has received calls from two major European operators and one major North American carrier saying "Have you gone mad?".
"But we had to do something radical, and we believe that this will benefit everyone in the future. By enabling tough regulation now in some parts of the business, it should enable some other areas to be deregulated," such as retail and business service pricing, says Ansell.

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