Telkom argument falls apart in court

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

The telecommunications industry will have to wait several weeks before finding out the outcome of Telkom's case against the Competition Commission.

The state-owned fixed line operator last week took the commission to the Pretoria High Court for referring a case of anti-competitive practice to the Competition Tribunal.

Telkom's argument was systematically dismantled on Friday as the commission brought its side of the story to court.

Telkom filed a complaint with the High Court in 2004.

Telkom argued that at the time, while the Telecommunications Act was in effect, any matter that concerned its conduct was under the jurisdiction of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.

Martin Brassey, the commission's advocate conceded that some of Telkom's arguments were valid, but he urged the court to consider that the matter was more of a competition issue rather than a mere telecommunications case.

He said that the contracts, which Telkom muscled smaller operators into, were designed to limit the source of service providers so that they would only use Telkom's services.

"This case would have been better decided by the tribunal which has proper comprehension of the facts," said Brassey.