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Anti-competitive agreements
| Prohibited conduct (telecommunications)

 

Prohibition of anti-competitive conduct in telco industry

Anti-competitive conduct in the telecommunications industry is regulated by Part XIB CCA in addition to Part IV.  Section 151AJ(2) provides:

‘A carrier or carriage service provider engages in anti-competitive conduct if the carrier or carriage service provider:

(a) has a substantial degree of power in a telecommunications market; and

(b) either

(i) takes advantage of that power with the effect, or likely effect, of substantially lessening competition in that or any other telecommunications market; or

(ii) takes advantage of that power, and engages in other conduct on one or more occasions, with the combined effect, or likely combined effect, of substantially lessening competition in that or any other telecommunications market'.

Pursuant to s 151AJ(3) a carrier or carriage service provider also engages in anti-competitive conduct if they engage in conduct in contravention of ss 45, 45B, 46, 47 or 48 and the conduct relates to a telecommunications market.

Section 151AK contains the 'competition rule', providing that a 'carrier or carriage service provider must not engage in anti-competitive conduct.'

This Part allows the ACCC to issue a 'competition notice' stating that a carrier or carriage service provider is engaging in anti-competitive conduct or that they have contravened the competition rule. Where a notice is given by the ACCC stating that a carrier or provider has contravened or is contravening the rule, that notice is prima facie evidence of the matters described in the notice. The ACCC may also provide exemptions from the definition of anti-competitive conduct for certain conduct.