Federal Court gives a win to the ACCC on Foxtel digital Pay TV service

Dec 14, 2007 1:21 PM
Filed under Finance

The Federal Court has upheld the decision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to accept a special access undertaking from Foxtel for its digital Pay TV set top unit service.

The undertaking was accepted by the ACCC in March 2007, although the Seven Network applied to the Federal Court to have the ACCC's decision overturned.

Justice Buchanan, the sitting judge on the case, refused Seven's application and found that the ACCC had made no error in its decision.

Foxtel's undertaking permits independent providers of digital content channels – for example, Setanta Sports – to offer their channels directly to Foxtel customers through Foxtel's digital set top units.

Foxtel was the first company to register a special access undertaking with the ACCC. The special access undertaking provisions began in 2003 and were added to Part XIC of the Trade Practices Act 1974 to allow companies to obtain upfront regulatory certainty as to the terms and conditions of access they must provide on their new telecommunications infrastructure.

ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel, said firms can use the Act to achieve regulatory certainty as to new investments.

"This benefits both the investor and access seekers and, ultimately, the long term interests of Australian consumers and business end-users," he said.
 
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