The Minister of Communications Paul Swain will not delay his decision into the unbundling issue despite the Commerce Commission taking Telecom to court for "misusing its market power".
Swain is currently reviewing advice received from the telecommunications commissioner's office along with submissions from industry players and the Ministry of Economic Development and will present his recommendation on the issue to cabinet in May. The telecommunications commissioner is part of the Commerce Commission's office, however the investigation into unbundling was conducted separately from the investigation into Telecom's pricing.
As Computerworld reported, the commission alleges that "Telecom has priced access to its data tail services for high speed data transmission, for the purposes of deterring potential and existing competitors from engaging in competitive conduct". Commission chair Paula Rebstock says this behaviour continues today in markets outside the major CBDs.
Rebstock says taking legal action against the incumbent does not conflict with the commission's role as telecommunications commissioner or its review of the unbundling of Telecom's local loop (LLU).
“In making its LLU recommendation, the commission concluded that there was limited competition in the data transmission market. At the same time, it was not possible for the commission to specifically take into account the outcome of the separate data tails investigation under the Commerce Act. That issue of whether Telecom had behaved anti-competitively can only be determined by the courts.”