Stop! Macquarie To Block Telstra Split
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Rival Telco is looking to block Telstra’s split, accusing it of lacking “transparency.”
According to papers seen by The Australian, Macquarie Telecom believes the split arrangement devised by its larger rival may affect competition, as it fails to treats its own Telstra retail arm and rivals, including Macquarie and others who are its wholesale customers, as equal players.

This, in turn, means Telstra could offer its own retail operation more favourable terms and conditions or even pricing arrangements, making rival broadband and network services far less uncompetitive, by comparison. 

The business-only telco also accuses Telstra newly proposed Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) of focusing on other issues rather than “providing wholesale customers with positive commitments and obligations to provide equivalence and transparency” with relation to the new wholesale arrangements.

The planned break-up of Telstra’s wholesale and retail arm, which has been trashed out and redrafted over several months, is said to be in its final stages.

In December 9th last, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission released a discussion paper on Telstra’s (revised) Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU), which is undergoing a 28 day consultation period and seeking comments from interested parties, according to a spokesperson.

That consultation period ends today.

Aside from Macquarie Telecom rumoured objections, there has been two other submissions in reply to the proposed draft arrangement – one from the Competitive Carriers’ Coalition, which consists of smaller player in the market – who also expressed concern over the regulation of prices and another from a private individual, Mr Frank Larmour.

So can Macquarie & Co block Telstra’s grand plan, which is crucial to its $11bn sweetheart NBN deal?

 

Macquarie’s submission to the ACCC has not yet been made public but the competition watchdog will be making additional submissions public over the next week or so, a spokesperson told SmartHouse today.

A final decision will be made on the Telstra’s separation sometime in February, which will be contingent on completion of the Commission’s inquiry into wholesale ADSL services, the spokesperson added.