In a judgment handed down on Friday 10 November 2023, Mr Justice Roth has dismissed the claims made by Phones 4U against the mobile network operators EE, Telefonica and Vodafone, and those made against EE’s former parent companies Orange and Deutsche Telecom. The Judgment is a rare judgment on a standalone competition claim, and follows a trial in the Competition List of the High Court which ran from May to July 2022. The Judgment, which runs to 208 pages, contains discussion of a number of important topics for competition lawyers including the extent to which collusion may occur in a bilateral exchange where one party declines to participate, public distancing, the rebuttal of the presumption of conduct on the market, document preservation, the drawing of adverse inferences from the absence of witnesses and the importance of competition law compliance policies.
Monckton members acted for two of the successful defendants: Meredith Pickford KC and David Gregory for EE and Rob Williams KC for Vodafone. The judgment and the judge’s short summary of the judgment can be found here and here.