Optus: Telstra/ACCC deal 'disappointing'

Optus: Telstra/ACCC deal 'disappointing'

Summary: Optus today said that the terms of Telstra's AU$6.5 million deal with the competition watchdog over broadband pricing were "disappointing", given the telecommunications heavyweight had accrued a potential cumulative liability of AU$300 million.

SHARE:
Optus today said that the terms of Telstra's AU$6.5 million deal with the competition watchdog over broadband pricing were "disappointing", given the telecommunications heavyweight had accrued a potential cumulative liability of AU$300 million.

Paul Fletcher, director Optus corporate and regulatory affairs, said that the terms of the settlement brokered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with Telstra were disappointing.

"In February 2004, Telstra used its privileged knowledge of the start date of Optus' resale DSL service to ambush Optus' competitive entry - by announcing a sharp drop in its own retail prices the day before Optus launched services," he said.

"Yet under the formula agreed between Telstra and the ACCC, Optus will receive a rebate which is just over 1 percent of Optus' likely spend with Telstra on DSL in our current financial year.

"Given that Telstra's cumulative liability for fines under the Competition Notice exceeded AU$300 million, it seems to have got off remarkably lightly with a settlement of AU$6.5 million.

"So while the ACCC has done good work in the initial stages of this dispute -- being instrumental for example in securing reductions in Telstra's wholesale price in March 2004 -- the ultimate resolution of this issue is disappointing.

"It does not seem to be an outcome which will deter Telstra from throwing its weight around in the future," Fletcher said.

Topics: Telcos, Government, Government AU, Optus, Telstra

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • We've seen this all before. Tesltra and the ACCC are sleeping in the same bed.
    What do we really expect though, when little Johnny Howard wants to sell the rest of telstra off of course there will be political goings on to lessen any penalties to telstra so the share price doesn't plummet any more than it allready has.
    zybch
  • We've seen this all before. Tesltra and the ACCC are sleeping in the same bed.
    What do we really expect though, when little Johnny Howard wants to sell the rest of telstra off of course there will be political goings on to lessen any penalties to telstra so the share price doesn't plummet any more than it allready has.
    zybch
  • Why should anyone be surprised with this outcome. The idiots in parliament who are supposed to run the country for the benefit of it's citizens, keep telling us the ACCC is there to protect us. Does it do this? NO...It never has and never will because it doesn't have enought power or funding to fight Tel$tra who has more legal staff than the ACCC is ever likely to have!!!! Tel$tra will continue to rip us off and gouge us all, until it's sold off. The penalty imposed by the ACCC is a pitance. Tel$tra could have afforded to pay the full amount and not even noticed that much. It blew more than 3 times that amount in shady share dealings in Asia last year. Did anyone complaim...NO. The government let the nutters in the Board Room, ...The Mad Hatters Tea Party which runs Tel$tra, OFF, scott free and paid them a bonus for doing it. None of the corporate watch dogs do their job. They all cowtow to little Johhny and the multi nationals.
    Huntsman.ks
  • If any phone company in Australia is able to provide some sort of mobile connectivity to end users/Residential customer with "Zero" Line rental for residential cutomers. and reduce the cost of a local call
    that will be a start of true competition at!!!!
    All journey start from a small step.
    anonymous
  • Once again we see a so called regulatory body failing to take an appropriate stance when someone breaches legislation. 6.5M what a joke. Of course Telstra are happy with the deal, the extra revenue they picked up in it with the increase in customers would almost pay that on its own no doubt !!!! Definately no encouragement or persuasion for them not to do it again.
    anonymous
  • I'll list the entities involved and you pick what the root cause of this problem:

    Government - public servants
    ACCC - public servants
    Telstra - ex-public servants
    ACA - public servants
    Judicial System - public servants
    Other Regulatory Authorities - public servants

    Public servants are the bane of our society !!
    Look around people - the fact is one in three people that work have their salaries directly or indirectly provided by the public purse (whether local, state or federal governments)
    Australia has more public servants per head of capita than any other country in the world.

    When (not if) public servants continually fail at performing the duties that they are being paid for - there is no recourse. Sacking public servants is almost an impossible process. Generally, most public servants have a "go slow" policy, they are underachievers, talentless and useless. In that environment, how will Australia improve as a nation?

    What's worse is that there is no effective way to change this. The bodies you want to send your complains/suggestions/feedback to are staffed by the very people that are the root cause of the problem - public servants.
    anonymous