National Grid Appeal Against Ofgem at the Competition Appeal Tribunal
On Thursday 15 January, the Competition Appeal Tribunal commenced its hearing of National Grid’s appeal against Ofgem’s finding that it had breached the Chapter II Prohibition under the Competition Act 1998 and Article 82 of the EC Treaty by abusing its dominant position in the domestic gas metering market. National Grid entered into agreements with gas suppliers whereby the gas suppliers agreed to pay early replacement charges if they replaced more than a certain number of National Grid’s installed meters each year with new meters supplied inter alia by competing meter operators. Ofgem imposed a fine of â£41.6 million on National Grid. National Grid challenges Ofgem’s market definition, its finding of dominance and its finding of abuse. The Tribunal will be determining the appeal on the merits, hearing evidence from witnesses of fact and expert economists during the ten day hearing. A number of the competing meter operators – Siemens, Capital Meters Ltd and Meter Fit – are intervening in the proceedings in support of Ofgem.
Jon Turner QC, Meredith Pickford, Josh Holmes and Laura Elizabeth John are acting for National Grid.
Christopher Vajda QC and Kassie Smith are acting for Siemens.
Christopher Vajda QC and Ben Rayment are acting for Capital Meters Limited.