Watchdog dumps guideline plans after Telecom defeat

The Commerce Commission has dumped plans to develop guidelines on rules that prevent large companies capitalising on market power, following its resounding defeat in a decade long spat with Telecom.

The Commerce Commission has dumped plans to develop guidelines on rules that prevent large companies capitalising on market power, following its resounding defeat in a decade long spat with Telecom.

Today the commission cancelled plans to develop guidelines on section 36 of the Commerce Act, which is aimed at preventing companies with substantial market power to abuse it in order to fight off competition.

In 1999, the commission alleged Telecom breached the rules when it introduced its 0867 dial up internet package.

However Telecom successfully defended its stance through to the Supreme Court, which last month rejected the commission’s final appeal.

During the drawn out proceedings, the commission put on hold the development of guidelines on section 36.

Commission chairman Mark Berry said the now the Supreme Court has ruled, there was limited value that could be added with the development of guidelines.

The commission said it would continue to assess each case it investigates on its facts to determine whether to proceed to litigation under section 36.

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