Collect call: Dis hit with U.K. fine


U.K. premium phone-line operator watchdog Icstis has imposed a £250,000 ($505,500) fine for fraudulent phone-in competitions aired on broadcaster GMTV, which is 25%-owned by the Walt Disney Co.

The fine on GMTV's telecoms company Opera Telecom is the highest the phone regulator has ever imposed, leading to speculation that GMTV itself could face a fine running into the millions of pounds when media regulator Ofcom delivers its verdict.

Icstis found that Opera and GMTV generated more than £20 million ($40 million) from unfair phone-in competitions over a four-year period, thought to involve more than 18 million phone calls.

GMTV managing director Paul Corely resigned when the scandal was revealed in July, along with head of commercial enterprises Kate Fleming.