Mobile phone companies face £3 billion legal claim, UK watchdog in fresh Microsoft row


Vodafone, EE, Three and O2
are facing a “£3bn-plus” class action claim that alleges they used their market dominance to overcharge on up to 28.2 million UK mobile phone contracts. The four largest network operators are accused of penalising loyal customers – meaning they paid more than new customers for the same services. Many contracts involve gradually repaying the cost of a smartphone over a two or three-year period – but it is alleged that, when the device was paid off, firms failed to reduce the monthly bill. The legal action has been brought by former Citizens Advice executive Justin Gutmann and the law firm Charles Lyndon. Sky News 

Actor Timothée Chalamet revealed the Game of the Year at the videogame industry’s biggest awards ceremony. The Wonka star announced that fantasy RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 had won the top prize at the Los Angeles ceremony. Accepting the award, Belgian developer Larian said the epic fantasy RPG based on Dungeons and Dragons was a labour of love. It dominated the awards with six wins including best performance, best RPG and player’s choice. Timothée was introduced by awards host Geoff Keighley as “ModdedController360” – the name of his now-deleted teenage YouTube channel celebrating painted gaming peripherals. BBC 

Researchers have developed a groundbreaking new method to double the energy output of a type of solar power station – an advance that could provide enough energy for over 750 homes. The study published recently in the journal Energy Reports redesigns a system known as a Solar Tower Power Plant which consists of a chimney-like tower with a mechanical turbine at its base. The system mainly consists of two components – a solar updraft system and a cooling downdraft structure. Independent 

Elon Musk has said the Disney boss, Bob Iger, should be “fired immediately” after the world’s biggest entertainment company joined an advertising boycott of his X platform. The world’s richest man has embarked on a series of outbursts against companies halting their ad campaigns on the site, formerly known as Twitter, after he endorsed an antisemitic tweet last month. “Walt Disney is turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company,” Musk said in a series of tweets. “He should be fired immediately.” The Guardian 

Charging companies are still working out how to position themselves in the market as they struggle to achieve profitability. “It’s very hard to make money in the business of providing plugs,” said Andy Palmer, the former Aston Martin CEO now leading PodPoint. PodPoint – which is majority owned by France’s EDF Energy – recently made the decision to move away from fast chargers in public locations to concentrate on home and workplace charging. It’s now targeting positive free cashflow (one measure of financial health) by 2027. Autocar

Britain’s competition watchdog is facing a fresh battle with Microsoft over its plans to scrutinise the tech giant’s ties to ChatGPT-maker OpenAI. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was seeking industry views on the deal between the US tech companies as it investigates their role in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This comes just months after Microsoft attacked the CMA over its initial decision to block the $69bn takeover of gaming company Activision, which was later reversed. Telegraph 

Chris Price
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