A draft determination has been issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in which it proposes authorising Telstra and NBN Co to amend agreements that they entered into from 2011 and 2014 which facilitated the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
In a press release the ACCC noted that the existing agreements, authorised under statute, provide the necessary legal certainty that certain conduct would not contravene Australian competition laws. Now, however, with Telstra proposing to undertake a restructure of its organisation it is seeking to incorporate its related entities into the existing agreements with the NBN through an amendment. Under the proposed authorisation, entities across the restructured Telstra group will be able to continue to give effect to their existing rights and obligations owed to NBN Co.
Commenting, ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said: ‘In our assessment we are limited to considering the potential public benefits and detriments that flow from the restructure and not from any existing agreements … The Telstra restructure is likely to result in some public benefits including increasing value to the shares widely held by Australian retail investors, largely by improving commercial opportunities.’
Submissions from interested parties in relation to the draft determination are now being sought by the ACCC, while it said it expects to make a final decision on the matter in August/September 2022.