ACCC enhances rules to check anti-competitive behaviour

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking comments for the third of its draft record keeping rules under the accounting separation regime for Telstra.The rule relates to imputation testing on retail services using Telstra's core wholesale services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking comments for the third of its draft record keeping rules under the accounting separation regime for Telstra.

The rule relates to imputation testing on retail services using Telstra's core wholesale services. Imputation testing is used to assist in detecting an anti-competitive price squeeze in a retail market.

A price squeeze could occur where Telstra reduces the margin between retail and wholesale prices to a level that inhibits competition.

ACCC Commissioner Ed Willett, said the draft rule updates a rule that the ACCC issued last year.

"At that time, the ACCC foreshadowed the issuing of a revised rule that would require Telstra to report on the retail ADSL service. The purpose of this is to determine whether those providers using the unconditioned local loop service, which is a wholesale service used to gain direct access to Telstra's copper network, would be able to viably provide broadband services," Willett said.

He added that the draft rule is different from the ACCC's investigation into wholesale ADSL pricing, which is currently subject to a Competition Notice.

"That investigation relates to the retail pricing of the service for competitors who resell Telstra's ADSL wholesale service," Willett clarified.

The ACCC said comments on the draft rule will close on 22 September.

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