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Telstra sets Federal Court date with ACCC, Vocus and iiNet subsidiaries

Hamish Barwick | Jan. 29, 2014
Telstra (ASX: TLS) is taking the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Vocus Communications (ASX: VOC) and iiNet (ASX: IIN) subsidiaries to the Federal Court on February 13 over an exchange and underground duct access pricing increase dispute.

Telstra (ASX: TLS) is taking the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Vocus Communications (ASX: VOC) and iiNet (ASX: IIN) subsidiaries to the Federal Court on February 13 over an exchange and underground duct access pricing increase dispute.

A Telstra spokesman said the price increase was applied under the standard terms of a wholesale contract with Vocus Fibre, Adam Internet and Chime Communications.

"This increase was based on the consumer price index and we believe it is binding under the contract," he said in a statement.

However, Vocus Fibre, Adam Internet and Chime Communications appealed the price increase to the ACCC.

The ACCC determined that it had jurisdiction to act as arbitrator in the dispute. Telstra responded by lodging judicial review proceedings against the consumer watchdog and the ISPs.

"We have a commercial contract with Adam, Chime and Vocus and there is no suggestion that we have breached it, so there is nothing for the ACCC to arbitrate when it comes to these charges," the spokesman said.

He added that Telstra has one take on the issue and the customers have another.

"We have not been able to reach agreement with them through a mediation process, so we are asking the [Federal] Court to clarify that the charges in the contract are binding and therefore there is nothing for the ACCC to arbitrate."

 

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