Re: Phones not 4U
"It is also deeply anti-competitive and I'm pretty sure there will be some sueballs thrown soon."
On what basis can anyone be sued? There's nothing to force the networks to maintain a business relationship if they decide they don't want to, and it's only anti-competitive in that there are fewer places to buy a phone on a contract, but there is still plenty of choice (in theory) in the market since there are still 4 major operators plus several major 3rd parties both online and with bricks and mortar (CrapPhone DIxons, Tesco, buymobiles.net, mobiles.co.uk spring to mind).
If the operators want to start selling direct-only by cutting out all of the middle-men, they are within their rights to do so, and there are some parallels - most famously Direct Line withdrew from the insurance comparison sites for example (but now have to spend a fortune telling you that in every ad break on TV).
Personally I won't shed any tears over P4U disappearing since my experiences with them have been uniformly terrible (go in knowing which phone and contract I want expecting a pretty simple transaction, only to be pushed towards whichever handset will give them the most commision that day irrespective of whether it will do what I want), but that isn't exactly unique to them.
It may be a shame for many people, and I certainly wouldn't argue that it is damaging to the industry - but IMO there's nothing illegal about it.
I am wondering why they are giving up now rather than looking for alternatives for the remaining year of the contract with EE though.