BARCELONA Nov 14 Britain's BT Group Plc
is likely to appeal against a court ruling that cleared rival
pay-TV group BSkyB to charge higher wholesale costs for
access to its sought-after sports content, BT's chief executive
Speaking on Wednesday at a technology, media and telecoms
conference organised by investment bank Morgan Stanley, BT's Ian
Livingston said he could not understand the ruling by Britain's
Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in August to lift pricing
restrictions placed on BSkyB.
"I think we are certainly minded to appeal," Livingston told
the conference in Barcelona. "We think it's a very poor
The dispute dates back to 2010 when media regulator Ofcom
ordered BSkyB to reduce the amount it charged competitors, such
as Virgin Media Inc and BT, for its two most important
Sky Sports channels, in a move designed to increase market
After BSkyB appealed against the ruling, the difference
between both sets of prices were paid into an escrow account by
BT, Virgin Media and Top-UP TV, with the proceeds to be
distributed after the case is resolved.
The CAT ruled in August in BSkyB's favour. A deadline for
any appeal is Nov. 26.
"We do not need to make a final decision until the deadline
for it but we are minded to appeal, yes," Livingston said.