U.K. watchdog lets BT sell bundled services

BT to offer broadband and TV in landline package

LONDON -- British telecoms supplier BT will be allowed to sell bundled voice, broadband and TV services as its competitors do, regulator Ofcom said on Tuesday.

Ofcom said it was the right time to remove one of the last restrictions on the former incumbent, 25 years after it was privatized, as it no longer had significant market power, confirming proposals made in March.

The regulator said other providers -- such as Virgin Media, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse's TalkTalk -- that together serve 12 million households and small businesses effectively competed with BT.

KCom, the dominant provider in the Hull area of Northern England, would still be regulated, Ofcom said.

The watchdog also said it had decided to maintain regulation in most of BT's wholesale voice services.

BT shares were 2.8% higher at 133.4 pence (220 cents) by 0955 GMT, beating the European telecoms sector's 0.4% gain. Credit Suisse upgraded BT to "outperform."
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