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British Telecom

Volume 124: debated on Monday 14 December 1987

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To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has had any discussions with, or representations from, the Director General of OFTEL about any reference to the Monopolies and Merger Commission in respect of British Telecom.

The Director General of Telecommunications has told my right hon. and noble Friend, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what he has also publicly indicated — that he is considering licence modifications with BT. The Director General has publicly stated that he may need to make a licence modification reference to MMC.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what he estimates to be the cost of the loyalty bonus for British Telecom shareholders; and whether he now has a figure for the numbers who received it.

Arrangements are in hand to transfer bonus shares of a market value on 30 November 1987 of nearly £90 million to almost 920,000 British Telecom shareholders on the United Kingdom register.Due to different administrative arrangements, the numbers of qualifying shareholders in Japan and North America are not likely to be known until late January.