Ofcom Scraps BT Price Controls

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has removed BT's retail price controls for line rentals and calls, having deciding that competition had finally reached the required intensity 22 years after the former monopoly was privatised.

The watchdog said the changes would come into effect from August 1 adding that BT had agreed to limit increases to its charges for basic line rental product to avoid hitting customers for whom line rental accounts for a large chunk of their phone bill.

In a statement, BT retail chief executive Ian Livingston said, "We will now look at how we can simplify our pricing structures and make them more user-friendly. Over the last decades prices have come down by a billion pounds and we expect to see that trend continue.”

Following the news BT shares were little changed at 226 pence by 1004 GMT, valuing the business at around 19 billion pounds.