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Telecom takes spat with Vodafone to regulator after dropping court action

Tuesday 13th August 2013

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Telecom Corp is taking its spat with rival Vodafone New Zealand to the Commerce Commission after dropping threatened legal action over the 'SuperNet' ad campaign.

Auckland-based Telecom has dropped High Court proceedings against its rival, saying Vodafone stopped "several aspects" of the ad campaign in its formal response to the action, and has dobbed in its competitor to the antitrust regulator, claiming the ad campaign breached the Fair Trading Act.

Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams says Telecom is being "insincere" about why the court action was dropped, saying its tweaks to the ad campaign add "some extra explanations to a couple of ads, specifically around the availability of 4G and our ultrafast broadband," and that the company wasn't compelled to do so.

"We have lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission and will continue to pursue that complaint with urgency," Telecom Retail chief Chris Quin said in a statement. "It's crucial that major market players act responsibly in ensuring their advertising is clear, informative and doesn't mislead or deceive."

The court action ended what was an uncharacteristically mellow period in the telecommunications sector as it's undergone a major regulatory shift, including the demerging of Chorus from Telecom and the government-subsidised fibre network build. That's been a change from Telecom and Vodafone spending protracted periods against each other in the court-room.

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