§ Mr. Neale
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the European Community decision of 10 December 1982 relating to a proceeding under article 86 of the European Community treaty and its effect on all licences for value added network services.
§ Mr. Butcher
The European Commission's decision is currently before the European Court of Justice and any assessment of its effect must depend upon the outcome of the case. The decision and the court's judgment can be expected to clarify the application of the Treaty of Rome competition rules in the telecommunications field. Even if the decision is upheld by the court, it will not have any direct impact on the value added network services general licence, because the provisions of the licence are of a different nature from those in the BT schemes found by the decision to be contrary to article 86 of the Treaty of Rome which in any case does not apply to acts of Her Majesty's Government.