Scuffle of the week

The mobile phone companies had such fun scrapping over how many noughts they could add to their bids for the new mobile phone licences that they've decided to carry on fighting. One2One is suing the Government over its handling of the £22.5bn auction. The company, owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, is challenging the Department of Trade and Industry over a concession given to rivals Orange and Vodafone AirTouch, which have been given an extra 180 days to scrape together the money they owe Gordon Brown. The companies have been given the dispensation because the pair have, in effect, come under common ownership after Vodafone AirTouch's purchase of Mannesmann (the owner of Orange). Neither can take up their licences until there is a separation of ownership – a process that has to be completed within 180 days. One2One complains the delay could save the companies £2m a day in interest. Meanwhile BT Cellnet, another victor in the auction, is also likely to be seeking a judicial review, although it will not be joining One2One's action.