From the blog

UK: Motorola Sues Home Office Over £14m Unpaid Bills

Telecoms giant Motorola has filed a lawsuit against the UK government over claims it has failed to pay £14.5m worth of bills linked to a contract to modernise communications for the country’s emergency services.

The upgrade to the communications system, which commenced in 2015, is designed to allow ambulance workers, firefighters and police officers to share data more easily when responding to emergencies.

But Motorola claims it is still owed money from this programme.

A spokesperson for Motorola said that “despite concerted efforts to resolve this dispute, the Home Office has failed to pay the full amount of sums due to Airwave under invoices issued since 22 March 2023.”

“The contract is clear that the core charge for this service increases with inflation, and Airwave has billed the Home Office accordingly,” they added. “We have therefore issued court proceedings to recover this debt and the interest which continues to accrue.”

The lawsuit was filed by Motorola’s UK arm and its subsidiary Airwave Solutions against the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care on 26 April, according to court records.

The Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care were approached for comment.

The claim is linked to a long-running dispute the telecoms giant has with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), where the regulator ruled in 2022 that Motorola had a monopoly in the emergency service radio network.

The CMA found that a lack of competition has allowed Motorola to make around £160m in excess profits a year, weighing on public funds with the Home Office and emergency services as its top customers.

Last December, the CMA implemented a price cap on Motorola which limited how much the company can charge for the use of its Airwave Network.

A spokesperson for the CMA at the time stated that “this ensures lower prices for these key services – and ultimately less cost for taxpayers – while allowing Motorola to invest in the network to ensure that quality and safety are maintained.”

Motorola stated that it is seeking to appeal this decision.