The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (Ofta) may review the criteria used in determining PCCW's dominant status in the fixed-line telecommunications market in a move that can upset the company's campaign for pricing flexibility. Ofta director-general Au Man-ho said he would take reference from overseas before deciding on PCCW's application for non-dominant carrier status. At present, the level is 75 per cent. 'It does not necessarily have to be 75 per cent, there are other countries that are not using this benchmark,' Mr Au said on the sidelines of a PCCW-sponsored conference. Mr Au's comment would be a blow to the firm's push for removal of its dominant status after it revealed that by June 30, its market share had fallen to 77 per cent. PCCW applied to Ofta to remove its dominant status in the commercial market in August and the residential market last month. Under the telecommunications law, PCCW is classified as the dominant player in fixed-line services and must apply to Ofta when offering discounts and bundling products. Market share is one of Ofta's major criteria for determining if PCCW is a dominant operator, along with other factors such as pricing power and entry barriers. Under the present rule, a player with a market share of between 25 per cent and 75 per cent would not be subject to Ofta's approval for pricing its service. PCCW has sought to shift the debate, arguing that its dominant share of the fixed-line market is not a fair barometer of competition as a large majority of Hong Kong households have access to services from multiple carriers. However, a company spokesman yesterday voiced opposition to the move, saying: 'Ofta can't move the goal posts in the middle of the game.' Wharf T&T, the market's No3 fixed-line player said the 75 per cent mark appeared too high. Mr Au said it was too early to tell if Ofta would adopt the 50 per cent level.