BT share price: Group’s boss hits back at rivals’ campaign

on Aug 16, 2016
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

BT Group’s (LON:BT.A) chief executive Gavin Patterson has complained that rivals’ ‘Fix Britain’s Internet’ campaign is misleading consumers and ‘talking down’ Britain, the Financial Times has reported. The news comes after TalkTalk’s boss attacked the former telecoms monopoly over its football spending over the weekend.

BT’s share price has lost ground in London this morning, having shed 0.86 percent to 393.40p as of 09:14 BST. The telco’s shares are slightly underperforming the broader market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped 0.40 percent into the red to stand at 6,913.42 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 13 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some 16 percent in the year-to-date.
The FT reported this morning that BT’s boss Gavin Patterson had written to his counterparts at rival broadband providers Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk to complain about their ‘Fix Britain’s Internet’ campaign. The companies launched the campaign earlier this month, arguing that the former telecoms monopoly spends “billions buying the rights to televised football rather than investing this money in Britain’s broadband infrastructure” and that “in rural areas, nearly half of premises can’t get speeds above 10 Mb/s”.
Patterson’s letter, seen by the newspaper, meanwhile argues that the ‘Fix Britain’s Internet’ campaign “paints an unfairly diminished view of connectivity across the UK and makes a number of misleading statements”. He accuses rivals of making misleading statements, with incorrect claims about Openreach’s investment compared to BT’s wider spending on Premier League and European football rights and the state of rural broadband. The FT notes that the former telecoms monopoly has already forced its rivals to amend the website after it initially claimed that BT spent more on sports rights than on broadband.
As of 09:49 BST, Tuesday, 16 August, BT Group plc share price is 393.00p.