Three smacks EE with £167m lawsuit over mast-sharing disagreement

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Three claims EE has only allowed it to access half of the masts agreed in deal struck when Orange merged with T-Mobile to form operator

Three has began legal proceedings against EE over £167 million it claims to have lost through network sharing agreements with its rival.

Reports in a number of news outlets claim Three, owned by Hong Kong giant CK Hutchison, is seeking damages related to an agreement struck when Orange merged with T-Mobile to form EE.

Three had existing agreements with T-Mobile to use its 3G infrastructure, and one of the conditions of the merger was that Three could access 3,300 of EE’s masts.

Court papers filed by the operator claim EE, bought by BT in January, has enabled Three to use just 1,301 sites in six years – fewer than half of those in the original agreement.

Three claims this has cost it £127.9 million, while expected losses in the future are £39 million, it calculates.

An EE spokesperson said: “We are surprised that Three has taken the step of issuing proceedings, as we are in active discussions with them. We strongly reject the allegations, and we will contest them vigorously.”

Three declined to comment about an ongoing legal case.

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