BT Group PLC (LSE:BT.A) is facing a full court trial that could lead to a GBP600mln compensation payout after the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) backed a class action claim alleging that the company overcharged for landline contracts.
The CAT unanimously decided that the claim should move to a full trial.
It follows an investigation by communications regulator Ofcom four years ago that found the telecoms group had used its vast market power to increase prices without much risk of losing customers.
This led to the FTSE 100 company cutting its bills by GBP7 per month for landline-only customers from April 2018 but it did not offer compensation.
The case brought by Justin Le Patourel, advised by law firm Mischon de Reya, calls for GBP500 of compensation each for the 2.3mln-plus customers affected.
Le Patourel, founder of Collective Action on LandLines, said: “We think that these customers could be entitled to a substantial repayment of up to GBP500 each. This decision is a great step in the right direction and we look forward to the full trial, where we will continue fighting for BTs loyal and mistreated customers.”
A BT spokesperson said: “We strongly disagree with the speculative claim being brought against us and will consider all available options as we review the preliminary ruling on the procedural matter of certification.”
The company said it will defend itself against any claim that suggests it does not take its responsibilities to customers very seriously.