Three has welcomed government proposals to streamline the appeals process for decisions take by regulators and competition authorities.
The department of business, innovation and skills said the current appeals system costs around £22m per year. It singled out the recent 4G auction as being an example of where threats of litigation can delay the roll out of infrastructure. Appeals against the award of 2.6GHz spectrum in 2008 took 14 months to resolve.
The government proposals, which are under consultation until September, suggest the appeals process should be more consistent between different industries, complexity should be reduced and greater information sharing should take place between regulators and businesses. Business Minister Jo Swinson said: 'It is only right that firms can hold regulators and competition authorities to account when they think the wrong decision has been reached. But it is in nobody’s interest that appeals end up being unnecessarily lengthy and costly.
'A new streamlined system will mean that businesses see their appeals sorted quicker and that they and regulators spend less time and legal resources on disputes. Reduced delays will help build a stronger economy and provide better outcomes for consumers.'
Welcoming the consultation, Three CEO Dave Dyson said: [The changes] will introduce greater certainty over regulation and limit the scope for important, pro-competition measures to be derailed by legal technicalities. Faster, cheaper regulation driven by consumer and competition strategy, rather than tactical concerns should be the result. This can only be good for UK consumers.'
Author: Graeme Neill