Virgin Media has locked horns with BT after the telecoms giant offered BT Sports to EE for free, according to reports in The Telegraph.
The broadband giant currently pays BT £120m a year for access to its football rights and has branded the EE deal a major breach of contract.
Virgin Media argued that the original agreement, signed in 2013, prevented BT from offering wholesale access at a cheaper price to what Virgin currently pays.
The Liberty Global owned brand claimed BT had effectively given EE a free ride after the newly merged brand recently announced that EE customers could access BT Sports for free for six months.
Virgin Media has since demanded that both parties suspend the campaign, a request that BT is believed to have refused.
BT’s influence on the market has been the cause of concern for a number of industry players. Rival Three recently expressed fears that the financial muscle of a combined BT/EE would dominate the upcoming spectrum auction, shutting smaller players out.
For Vodafone, TalkTalk and Sky, BT’s close relationship with Openreach is equally worrying while Virgin Media’s CEO has urged BT/EE to foster market competition by offering fair terms to rivals.
Mobile has approached Virgin Media who declined the opportunity to comment.