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Guidelines Issued For Complaints Procedures

Guidelines Issued For Complaints Procedures

The Commerce Commission has today issued guidelines on how the Commission addresses issues or complaints that relate to competition concerns in the telecommunications market.

The Commission enforces Part 2 of the Commerce Act, which relates to restrictive trade practices, including the use of market power by one company to limit the level of competition in a particular market. The Commission also enforces the Telecommunications Act, which focuses on the regulation of companies with market power in the telecommunications industry. Both Acts have a similar purpose which is to promote competition in markets for the long term benefits of consumers.

"Having a competitive telecommunications industry is important to both consumers and the New Zealand economy," said Commission Chair, Paula Rebstock. "The Telecommunications Act already regulates many of the interactions between the major carriers and smaller firms and new entrants. These guidelines provide clarity as to when action against anti-competitive behaviour in the telecommunications industry would be taken under the Commerce Act."

Where a company's conduct is specifically regulated by an access determination or registered undertaking under the Telecommunications Act, the Commerce Act will not apply. Where no determination or undertaking applies to the conduct, the behaviour can be analysed under the Commerce Act and any behaviour in breach of the Act can be subject to court action.

Ms Rebstock said, "The provisions of the two Acts work in a complementary way to ensure that competitive forces are at work for the benefit of consumers."

Any telecommunications competition related complaints should continue to be made to the Commission by phoning 0800 943 600 or by email contact@comcom.govt.nz

The guidelines can be downloaded from the Commission's website at www.comcom.govt.nz under Publications/Guidelines.

ends

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