Telstra gets early end to ACCC fight

Telstra's battle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the cost of access to its network could come to an early end, the telco has revealed.Telstra has now had its constitutional challenge to the ACCC's "compulsory acquisition" of the ULL (unbundled local loop) referred to the High Court for early determination, according to the company.

Telstra's battle with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the cost of access to its network could come to an early end, the telco has revealed.

Telstra has now had its constitutional challenge to the ACCC's "compulsory acquisition" of the ULL (unbundled local loop) referred to the High Court for early determination, according to the company.

The telco issued the legal challenge early this year after the competition watchdog cut the prices Telstra could charge rivals to use its network. The ACCC cut prices again this month, a move the company claimed could ultimately prevent investment in Australia's fibre-to-the-node network.

Telstra alleges the pricing that the ACCC has mandated is not enough to cover the costs the company incurs to run the infrastructure.

"This is property bought and paid for by Telstra's 1.6 million shareholders, [who] should not have their property taken without fair compensation which the Trade Practices Act fails to guarantee. Shareholders are currently denied this opportunity because the 'Constitutional safety net' provision contained in the Trade Practices Act is flawed," a statement from the company said.

The High Court is expected to hear the case in November this year and is expected to cost Telstra over AU$1 million in legal fees.

The ACCC refused to comment on Telstra's constitutional challenge.