Primus slams ACCC over size of Telstra fine

Primus Telecom today expressed outrage at a decision by Australia's competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to fine Telstra $6.5 million.

Telstra has agreed to fork out the money in compensation for its wholesale customers to help end a year-long clash over cut-price Internet broadband prices.

The ACCC issued a competition notice against Telstra last March after the telco slashed broadband prices for its retail customers to $29.95 a month. But the price cuts did not apply to Telstra's wholesale clients, who claimed they still had to pay $36 a month to access Telstra's network.

Primus Telecom regulatory affairs manager, Ian Slattery, said the compensation figure wouldn't deter anti-competitive conduct by Telstra and was the equivalent of a "parking fine".

"Given the damage that Telstra's conduct caused the industry as it reaped outstanding benefits, the $6.5 million Telstra now has to pay could be characterized as an excellent investment," Slattery said.

"This demonstrates the failure of the telecommunications competition regime and the need for its urgent rehabilitation before Telstra is unleashed as a fully privatized entity," he said.

In fact Telstra's head of regulatory affairs Bill Scales agreed the $6.5 million worth of rebates was a small price to pay, but insisted Telstra had never tried to act in an anti-competitive way.

In addition to the fine Telstra has promised to provide up to 15 days notice of future price cuts.

Telstra's decision to lower prices for wholesale customers last month also helped resolve the situation.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said Telstra acknowledged its cut-price offerings made in February 2004 adversely affected its broadband customers which is why Telstra has offered reduced pricing, and rebates.

IT Minister Helen Coonan said resolution of the dispute proved current regulatory arrangements work.

As a result of the resolution reached between the ACCC and Telstra, the watchdog will not ask the Federal Court to enforce the competition notice that was issued against the telco.

Had it been enforced, Telstra could have been fined $10 million for each contravention of the notice and $1 million for every day it continued.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sandra Rossi

Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?