PCCW has been sued for libel over a series of controversial print advertisements targeted at broadband rival City Telecom (CTI). In a rare court battle between telecommunications operators, CTI subsidiary Hong Kong Broadband Network yesterday filed a writ against PCCW, claiming unspecified damages for libel and malicious falsehood. The case has taken some industry observers by surprise because most disputes over negative advertisements would be filed with - and subsequently settled by - the Office of the Telecommunications Authority. The industry watchdog last month issued a warning letter to PCCW after it printed in June a set of negative advertisements linking rivals' discount offers to dropped calls and poor reception quality. No penalty was handed down. In the court writ, CTI claimed PCCW was making inaccurate comparisons between the broadband services provided by Netvigator and those of Hong Kong Broadband, saying PCCW should have conducted proper research about the features of these services before publishing. It said PCCW, which extracted words from the April issue of Choice magazine, did not provide updated and accurate data for Hong Kong Broadband's service. CTI said the series of PCCW's advertisements published in seven local magazines in May and June, which it described as prominent and sensational, were to 'promote and praise PCCW as a responsible and reliable Internet service provider through disparaging the broadband services provided by others'. The advertisements, entitled 'The truth about broadband unravelled. Teach you how to decipher errors', asked customers to be particularly watchful for price competition. CTI also included media-buying company Zenith Media and graphic designer House Communion W in the court writ.