Remember the High Court challenge brought by Realm Communications (of Irish Psychics Live fame) against industry self-regulatory body RegTel? (Full details in this earlier post, but in short Realm were found to have been overcharging customers in breach of the Regtel Code of Practice and were banned from sending premium texts for twelve months.) In an apparent victory for RegTel, Realm has now agreed to abandon that action, to revise its services and to pay refunds in respect of customer complaints - though it seems that the twelve month ban has been waived. (Irish Times | Statement from Regtel)
The significance of this result? Although the result has no precedential value, it should strengthen the hand of Regtel in taking action against persistent breaches by removing a lingering threat about the scope of its authority. Perhaps more importantly from their perspective, it may also support the argument that premium rate services should be controlled by self-regulation via Regtel rather than (as the Minister has previously proposed) by statutory regulation giving new powers to ComReg.