The fate of the AAPT brand hangs on a market survey iiNet will conduct, following the announcement of the purchase of its consumer division earlier today.
iiNet has secured its place as Australia's third largest internet service provider after coming out of its trading halt at midday and announcing that it would acquire the consumer division of Telecom NZ subsidiary AAPT.
Steve Dalby, iiNet's chief regulatory officer, said the ISP would conduct a market survey looking at brand recognition and propensity to buy AAPT before deciding whether customers would be moved over to the iiNet brand.
Dalby said this review was still underway for its other recent acquisition Netspace, and that it had applied the same process when the company acquired Westnet with the end decision that it would keep the brand separate.
"When we looked at Westnet, we found that brand recognition was reasonable in its market and propensity to buy was positive in its market," he said. "We also found as part of the research that the customer demographics were very different to iiNet demographics, so the call we made on the Westnet one was we're only going to probably piss off the Westnet customers if we force them into an iiNet branding model."
Should the brands be retired, AAPT and Netspace customers will retain their email addresses and pricing plans in most cases, according to Dalby, but will move over to iiNet in all other areas.
Dalby flagged that the acquisition would likely be the death knell for AAPT's flagship unlimited download plans.
"It's unlikely we'll continue support for the unlimited plan because it doesn't fit with our model," he said. "We've looked at it in the past and decided against it quite deliberately."
Dalby said AAPT customers on the unlimited plans may not be forced off them; however, iiNet will attempt to lure customers over to iiNet plans using other methods.
"In 90 per cent of cases we don't force the customers to move off. It may be that we employ other tactics to make the other plans more attractive than the unlimited plans," he said. "We might provide access to things that you wouldn't get on the unlimited plan."