States' Arbitration Powers In Telecom Deals Limited

Law360, New York (June 8, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In a dispute over an interconnection agreement between Qwest Corp. and Covad Communications Group in Arizona, a federal appeals court has ruled that state regulators can't require pricing or element unbundling obligations during arbitration of such agreements.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday found that state commissions, in the course of arbitrating interconnection agreements, may not impose access or pricing requirements under the federal Telecommunications Act.

In addition, the appeals court held that state commissions are preempted...
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