Not content with its best one-day share price rally in two years, Telstra is talking up its chances of taking on and beating the ACCC in the High Court.

Or maybe it’s all related. Telstra shares are continuing to firm with T3 buyers enjoying a capital gain of 48% at this morning’s price of $2.96.

The AFR has a curious front page lead that boils down to Telstra’s general counsel, Will Irving, saying he’s been successful with a freedom of information application.

Will reckons whatever information he’s obtained from the ACCC via FOI could improve Telstra’s chances in a possible High Court challenge that might be brought this year and could include claims for compensation.

Yep, there are a few if’s and maybe’s in there – it’s still January. The real problem with the story though is that at no stage is there any indication of what the FOI stuff actually might be.

Instead, one is left with the impression of just another strategic manoeuvre behind the lines in the battle between the ACCC and Telstra, with this particular flare signalling a bit more legal sabre rattling. Reports the Fin:

Mr Irving said Telstra had had rights removed that other companies enjoyed, forcing it to look to the constitution to safeguard its interests.

“We have had rights of appeal completely removed in respect of many regulatory decisions and we face regulation after the event, so we can’t invest with any confidence.

“The constitution contains some core requirements that the government can’t take away form us and so it naturally becomes a focus when billions of dollars are involved and ends-justifies-the-means type regulation strangles investment.

“They’ve taken other things aware from us, but they haven’t taken the constitution. They can’t.”

I feel Australia Day coming on.

Peter Fray

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