ACCC report confirms Telstra breached competition safeguards

21 Jun 2013

Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra is reported to have breached measures designed to safeguard competition until the National Broadband Network (NBN) is constructed and the telco has migrated its fixed line customers to it. In publishing its first report on Telstra’s compliance with its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) noted that it outlined breaches of the equivalence and transparency measures contained in Telstra’s SSU between 6 March 2012 and June 30 2012. The majority of the breaches were said to relate to Telstra’s obligations to ensure that confidential or commercially sensitive wholesale customer information provided to it in its capacity as access provider of regulated services is not disclosed to Telstra’s retail businesses. Commenting on the matter, ACCC chairman Rod Sims stated: ‘While it is of concern that these breaches have occurred, the fact that these matters are now coming to light and are being addressed shows that the SSU is working.’ Further, the regulator noted that Telstra has ‘taken steps to ensure compliance with its SSU obligations since reporting the issues’, though the ACCC noted that it would take some time for the telco to complete these tasks ‘as full remediation will involve changes to complex information and operational systems’.