Telstra slaps ACCC with legal action

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Telstra slaps ACCC with legal action

Telstra has launched a legal challenge against the recent Competition Notice imposed upon it by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Telstra has launched a legal challenge against the recent Competition Notice imposed upon it by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The telecommunications giant said it was “forced to challenge the Competition Notice”, which concerns wholesale prices for line rental, following the ACCC's failure to follow the proper process required by law.

Telstra's general manager, Regulatory Affairs, Dr Tony Warren, said the issues raised in the Competition Notice were different from the ACCC's earlier Consultation Notice, making the regulator's conduct both unfair and unauthorised by law.

The legal action follows the ACCC's rejection of Telstra’s request to seek the reasons for the ACCC's decision to issue the Competition Notice.

Dr Warren said the ACCC had failed to voluntarily withdraw the Competition Notice after Telstra had pointed out problems with both the notice and the process involved in its issuing.

"Telstra believes that the ACCC's action hurts investment in new infrastructure that would provide benefits to consumers," he said.

The Competition Notice relates only to a subset of "low spend" customers, however the Consultation Notice related to the entire customer base.

The law requires the ACCC to give Telstra an opportunity to consider its entire legal case and put its submissions to the ACCC, Telstra said.

An ACCC representative said Telstra was well within its legal rights to challenges the regulator.

“I presume from the wording of the document, that Telstra will be issuing the challenge through the ADJR (Administrative Decisions Judicial Review),” the spokesperson said.
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