TLS 0.29% $3.47 telstra corporation limited.

on the offensive

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    There is now no doubt but that the ACCC may not be acting in the best interests of the Australian people.

    TTELSTRA has won access to secret documents used by the competition regulator to stop Telstra charging competitors $30 per month for access to its raw copper-wire network.
    Last December, Communications Minister Helen Coonan asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to justify its wholesale pricing system based on four separate geographic areas, but the four reports it compiled to justify its stand have never been released.

    Since then, Telstra has been increasingly at odds with the ACCC, branding it as "a rogue regulator" because its zonal pricing system may be at odds with government policy. The ACCC and the Government have been confident there is no conflict. The matter first went to the Australian Competition Tribunal two weeks ago as part of Telstra's appeal against the ACCC's rejection of its claim.

    The Government is seeking to claim public interest immunity on the basis that the disclosure of the documents would prejudice policy development and decision making. The ACT delivered its decision yesterday morning, finding that public interest was outweighed by the "interests of justice".

    The documents will only be released to external counsel and solicitors for Telstra and its rivals such as Optus who are party to the matter as well as one Telstra employee so that instructions can be given on the document. Everyone getting access will need to sign a confidentiality undertaking.

    Telstra has been given access to the first report now, but the Government said that it might choose to appeal to the full Federal Court in respect of the last three reports and has been given until 2.15pm tomorrow to decide.

    LS has had to appeal because the ACCC would not divulge the reasons for not accepting the TLS position on pricing.
    The decision has been handed on justice grounds...

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