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UK operators to take back £220m spectrum licence fee

Manny Pham
May 21, 2019

Vodafone will invest the money in its future infrastructure

Vodafone UK has won a legal case against regulator Ofcom over a hike in spectrum fees, which opens up the chance for rival operators to be refunded up to £220 million.

According to Financial Times, The Hight Court upheld Vodafone’s complaint that Ofcom’s huge increase in licence fees in 2015 has not followed proper processes. Ofcom has been given the right to appeal.

Vodafone launched legal actions in September 2018 to address government mandated increase in spectrum prices by Ofcom which treble annual licence fees.

In a statement, an Ofcom representative said: “This case has been decided on what is a technical and important point of law, and the judge has recognised this by granting Ofcom permission to appeal further to the Court of Appeal.”

“The mobile operators did not challenge the amount they pay for this valuable spectrum, but the judgement means they get a windfall of more than £220 million.”

In a statement, a Vodafone representative said: “We are delighted with the court’s ruling. Ofcom has previously acknowledged that it failed to follow proper process in raising the licence fees and the court has now confirmed that the over payments should be returned.”

“The repayment of these fees will enable us to invest in the country’s digital infrastructure”.

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