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July 23, 1991

BT MMC THREAT FADES

By CBR Staff Writer

It is beginning to look as if, as we suspected (CI No 1,720), there was more sound and fury than substance to British Telecommunications Plc’s threat to brave a Monopolies & Mergers Commission investigation rather than knuckle under to the Office of Telecommunications’ revised regime for access charges, which requires that Telecom’s share of the market should fall to 85% from the present 95% before the charges may be levied: the signs yesterday were that the company would accept a compromise put up by Mercury Communications Ltd under which freedom from access charges would be granted only to companies that made a substantial investment in their own local telephone service infrastructure, which would mean that the British Railways Board, with only a long distance network, would be hit by charges.

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