U.K.'s 3 hit by competition authority ruling

U.K. mobile-phone operator 3, owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, may be crippled by a decision from U.K. competition regulators that will require the operator to cut by 45 percent the charges it imposes on its competitors for interconnection fees.

3 had warned the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which heard 3's appeal against the original Ofcom ruling on the matter, that such a move would significantly reduce its revenue between 2007 and 2011. The tribunal said that argument was of "limited relevance." 3, which launched in 2003, has yet to report a pre-tax profit. 3 shook up the U.K. market in 2006 by offering flat-rate 3G data service.

To read more:
- check out this article from FT.com

Related stories:
3 launches flat-rate mobile Skype, Sling, Orb. See this story on 3's new 3G strategy
3 to come to U.K. market with cheap HSDPA. See this report on 3's U.K. HSPA strategy

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