Court Rules that AT&T’s Customer Specific Contract Terms Must be Disclosed to Competitors


On March 8, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed a Michigan federal trial court’s denial of a challenge by CMC Telecom to a Michigan PUC ruling that AT&T Michigan did not violate the Telecommunications Act by refusing to disclose individualized resale contracts to CMC. The appeals court concluded, that “AT&T’s claim that it would be violating § 222 [the Telecommunications Act’s CPNI section] by disclosing details of these contracts is without merit, because the Act allows for disclosure ‘as required by law.’” The court held that “[b]ecause § 251’s resale duty constitutes a legal disclosure requirement, § 222 does not prevent AT&T from disclosing terms of its individualized contracts to competitors.” The court noted that “AT&T may be able to anonymize the contracts so that CMC can learn the terms on which AT&T provides individual offers without learning the identities of AT&T’s customers.” CMC Telecom, Inc. v. Mich. Bell Tel. Co., No. 09-2239 (6th Cir.).

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