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Court Action Against Bay Of Plenty Electricity

Issued 8 January 2002/001

Commerce Commission Commences Court Action Against Bay Of Plenty Electricity Over Refusals To Grant Meter Access For Electricity Supply In The Bay Of Plenty Region

The Commerce Commission has commenced court action against Bay of Plenty Electricity Limited alleging that the company has breached section 36 of the Commerce Act by refusing to enter into metering services agreements and grant meter access to other electricity retailers wishing to enter the electricity retail market in the Bay of Plenty region.

The Commission alleges that Bay of Plenty Electricity has been refusing access since 1999 and continues to do so.

The Commission's action has been filed in the Wellington High Court and documents were today served on Bay of Plenty Electricity.

If the Court finds that Bay of Plenty Electricity breached the Act then the Court can impose a wide range of orders including injunctions and can impose penalties of up to $10 million.

Commerce Act Section 36 explanation Until 26 May 2001 section 36 prohibited a person who was in a dominant position in a market from using that dominant position for the purpose of restricting the entry of any person; or preventing or deterring any person from engaging in competitive conduct; or eliminating any person from that or any other market.

As from 26 May 2001 section 36 prohibits persons who have a substantial degree of power in a market from taking advantage of that power for such purposes.

Statement of Claim The statement of claim filed by the Commission is a court document. The Commission will not release a copy of the statement of claim before a judicial conference is held.

Ends


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