Optus calls on ACCC to block TPG-Telstra network sharing deal

28 Jun 2022

Australia’s Optus has confirmed it has lodged a submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) consultation related to the proposed network sharing agreement between rivals Telstra and TPG Telecom. In a press release regarding the matter, Optus claimed that the operators’ tie-up may lead to less investment in regional areas of the country, while arguing it ‘overturns 30 years of regulatory and market settings that have promoted competition and investment in the telecommunications sector’.

According to Optus, should the proposed deal move forward, the country’s mobile sector ‘will be more acutely characterised by a monopoly provider’, and it has suggested such a situation could lead to: higher prices across the country; lower overall investment in the communications market; lower network and service quality; and less choice for regional consumers.

Moreover, Optus’ submission to the ACCC argues that the network sharing deal would ‘further entrench and extend the dominant market position of Telstra which will undermine the commercial viability of additional investment in regional infrastructure (which TPG is abandoning) by any rational company, ‘locking’ competition out of the regional market and eliminating choice in regional Australia’.