Telecom loses court battle over $12m fine
Mon, 02 Jul 2012 12:43p.m.
Telecom has lost an appeal over a High Court decision which resulted in it being hit with a $12 million fine last year.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of Justice Rodney Hansen in October 2009 that the telco was guilty of anti-competitive behaviour under the Commerce Act.
It agreed with Justice Hansen that Telecom took advantage of its dominant position in the market to deter competition by charging disproportionately high prices for wholesale access to its network.
By doing so it prevented the company from offering retail high-speed data services on a competitive basis.
But the appeal court went further than the original decision and extended by two years the period of offending from February 1999 until late 2004. The earlier ruling deemed the period began on March 18 in 2001.
Telecom argued that the High Court ruling was wrong because it had not abused its dominant position and the complex pricing structure fell outside the scope of the Commerce Act.
In April last year the company was fined $12 million for anti-competitive behaviour, the highest penalty ever imposed under the Act.
The company announced on Monday that former chief executive Paul Reynolds would get a $1.75 million farewell payment.
Its new chief executive, Simon Moutter, takes over next month.
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