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Telstra fails in court bid
17 Feb 1999

Justice Arthur Emmett of the Federal Court denied an application by Telstra to halt moves by Cable and Wireless Optus to secure competitive access to the local telephony market.

In the Court action Cable and Wireless Optus alleges that Telstra has abused its market power - seeking to prevent local call competition by heavily cross-subsidising the Foxtel cable network.

According to Stephe Wilks, Cable & Wireless Optus' Director of Regulatory and Public Affairs, "Cable and Wireless Optus is seeking to provide real competition in the local call market and provide an alternative to Telstra for consumers. The decision by Justice Emmett means Telstra will have to face a Court investigation into its actions under Section 46 of the Trade Practices Act," Mr Wilks said.

"The result of the local call market opening up to further competition will be very good news for all consumers. Since new telecommunications companies have entered the long distance call market prices have fallen dramatically. We hope to achieve a similar result in the local market while providing a better service than currently exists.

"While the Cable and Wireless Optus local call network is growing strongly and performing very well, we could clearly improve our services once Telstra's anti-competitive barriers have been removed across the board.

"We are confident that when this matter is argued in Court it will result in a further substantial step toward free and open competition in Australia," Mr Wilks said.

For more information:
Stephen Woodhill
National Media Manager
Cable & Wireless Optus
Phone: 02 9342 7846
Mobile: 0413 318 455