High Court: Telecom abused market power in early 2000s

Judgment says competitors were disadvantaged by incumbent's data tails pricing

Telecom says it is “disappointed” with the High Court’s ruling today that it leveraged its position to charge downstream competitors disproportionately high prices for wholesale access to its network between 2001 and 2004.

In a media statement released this morning, Telecom group general counsel Tristan Gilbertson says “The case stems from the introduction of retail and wholesale pricing of data services, more than 10 years ago, in a regulatory and competitive environment that was very different from today’s.

“The Commission’s claim related to pricing that was superseded in late 2004 by regulated data transmission service pricing.

“Further regulation and, more recently, operational separation have meant that market conditions at the relevant time also no longer exist and have not existed for more than five years,” Gilbertson says.

Today’s judgment found that Telecom’s wholesale data pricing to competitors during those years “was consistent with its strategy to deny competitors access at prices that would permit the rivals to utilise and develop their own networks for the purpose of data transmission”.

Full details of the judgment and the Commerce Commission’s reaction can be found at the Commerce Commission website.

Telecom has 20 days to appeal the decision.

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Tags high courttelecomcommerce comissiondata tails

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