ACCC admits to failure of anti competitive Telstra measures

ACCC chairman admits to Senate that legislation to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by Telstra isn’t working

The ACCC admitted last week to a Senate standing committee that the operational separation legislation introduced in 2005 to control anti-competitive behaviour by Telstra has failed.

The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Issues) Act 2005 introduced an operational separation framework for Telstra that sought greater equivalence and transparency in Telstra's supply of certain "designated" wholesale services to competitors.

It was also intended to provide ongoing assurance that Telstra is not favouring its own retail business units by implicitly supplying services to itself at prices which are unjustifiably lower or of a higher quality than those offered to downstream competitors.

On June 5, before a Senate Standing Committee on Economics and Budget Estimates, ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel responded to a question posed by Senator Kate Lundy as to whether the ACCC viewed the current operational separation regime that applies to Telstra an effective mechanism for promoting equivalency between Telstra and its competitors.

"I can give a short answer to that or a slightly longer one. The short answer is probably no," Samuel replied.

"We continue to receive complaints of conduct that suggest that the objective of equivalence, which was the objective of the regime, is not being achieved. There have been some instances of conduct since the regime's inception which, while it is not clear they breach the operational separation plan, do not promote the objective of equivalence which was the fundamental objective of the plan in the first place," he continued.

Samuel also said that additional reporting of Telstra's business practices that the legislation requires has been of limited benefit.

"I guess, in summary, we would have to say that the regime is fundamentally unduly complex. There is a lot of discretion left to Telstra. There are limited self-regulatory mechanisms and unduly convoluted processes to implement any corrective action if a problem is identified," he said.

Complaints received regarding breaches of the operational separation plan by Telstra, of which the ACCC had investigated three, have not resulted in any public action against Telstra other than the ACCC's duty to report such matters to the Minister for Communications.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Hendry

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?