Optus launches lawsuit against Telstra

18 Apr 2006

Australian telco Optus has launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Telstra over the latter’s decision last year to raise wholesale prices. In December 2005, Telstra increased its wholesale line rental prices from AUD26.95 to AUD30.36, but left its retail line rental plans unchanged, effectively forcing Optus to pay a wholesale price more than AUD3.4 (USD2.5) above the price at which Telstra sells the same product in the retail market. The action follows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issuing a competition notice against Telstra last week – an official finding by the regulator that it believes the line rental price increase is anti-competitive. ‘We have a pretty high level of confidence their conduct is anti-competitive,’ Optus regulatory affairs director Paul Fletcher commented, before adding, ‘Telstra is trying to use its market power to drive its resale competitors out of the marketplace.’