AT&T Loses at U.S. Supreme Court on Price for Sharing Lines

Established local telephone companies including AT&T Inc. (T) must share disputed parts of their networks with competitors at cost, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

The unanimous ruling backs the position taken by the Federal Communications Commission in a fight stemming from the 1996 law that injected competition into the local telephone business. The law requires so-called incumbent local carriers, whose ranks also include Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and CenturyLink Inc. (CTL), to share their facilities with rivals.

The ruling was a victory for Talk America Inc. in its fight with AT&T’s Michigan Bell Telephone unit. The case centered on so-called entrance facilities -- the wires or cables that connect the networks of two carriers. AT&T argued unsuccessfully that those lines aren’t covered by the 1996 law.

The case is Talk America v. Michigan Bell Telephone, 10- 313.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.