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Talks break down, ComCom moves

04 Dec 2009

A last ditch effort to get the three mobile providers around the table and hash out an agreement on mobile termination rates has failed.

On 9 November the Commerce Commission gave Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees a fortnight to get together and reach a commercial agreement in order to stave off regulation. But on Friday 20 November 2degrees emailed the Commission to report the talks had failed. The following Monday Telecom and Vodafone submitted a joint report on the discussions, together with a proposal.

In a letter to all three companies yesterday telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson rejected the Vodafone/Telecom proposal and invited the telcos to submit final undertakings by Tuesday 15 December. Patterson indicated that a glide path to lower rates proposed by Telecom in its October submission  "is likely to be acceptable to the Commission in the context of a commercial solution based on undertakings."

The Commission will submit a final report to ICT Minister Steven Joyce early next year.

Telecom has issued a media release this morning welcoming the Commission’s move to ask for further submissions. Telecom group counsel Tristan Gilbertson acknowledges the Commission’s support for rates the company proposed in October and says it will move to those rates if a self-regulatory outcome can be achieved.