Australian Competition Tribunal rejects Telstra, TPG network sharing

Singtel’s Optus said the decision will be beneficial to Australians.

The Australian Competition Tribunal upheld the decision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to oppose the network sharing deal of Telstra and TPG Telecom.

In a disclosure, Singtel’s Optus welcomed the tribunal's decision to block the “anti-competitive arrangement” saying this will benefit the regional communities.

“This reinforces the importance of infrastructure-based competition and investment in our communications sector that will have lasting benefits for regional Australia,” said Oprus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin.

“This is a good outcome for our regional communities as it will mean they will continue to benefit from competition as Optus reaffirms its commitment to providing Australia’s regional communities with a strong network and great service,” she added.

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Optus and TPG entered into the proposed Spectrum Authorisation Agreement in 2022 which will allow Telstra to operate radiocommunication devices using spectrum licenses of TPG. 

In a statement, the ACCC said it denied the proposal because it did not prove that the arrangement would not likely lessen competition substantially or that its benefits to the public would outweigh the disadvantages.

“The Tribunal noted that the proposed arrangements would give Telstra substantial benefits and increase its market strength on the retail and wholesale mobile markets, and would undermine Optus’ incentives to invest in 5G technology. Over time, this would weaken the competitive constraint on Telstra, and lead to increased prices and margins,” it said. 

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