Competition tribunal overturns Telstra’s WLR and LCS exemptions

23 Dec 2008

The Australian is reporting that the Australian Competition Tribunal has overturned an August 2008 decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that exempted incumbent Telstra from providing wholesale services in a number of exchanges. The ACCC ruling relieved Telstra of obligations to provide Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) and Local Carriage Service (LCS) in 248 exchanges. The tribunal said that there remains an ongoing need for access to Telstra’s network, and it claimed that the ACCC had been too swift in allowing the exemptions. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said that the tribunal’s decision would be accepted, noting, ‘The ACCC recognises that this decision was a matter of judgement and understands that there are reasons why the tribunal came to a different conclusion. As with all court and tribunal decisions, the ACCC will review those reasons and consider the implications for the ongoing performance of its regulatory functions.’