ACCC and TIO team up to crack down on telco phoenixing

ACCC and TIO team up to crack down on telco phoenixing

Watchdogs sign MOU for share information on compliance with consumer law and systemic issues

Credit: Dreamstime

Two of Australia’s consumer watchdogs have put illegal phoenixing at the top of their agendas as part of a new data sharing pledge concerning telecommunications providers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) signed an agreement outlining a framework for sharing information relating to telco legal compliance and systemic issues. 

One of the issues within the memorandum of understanding (MoU) is to address phoenixing activity in the telecommunications industry.

The agreement allows the two bodies to share information about the practice, which involves creating a new company to continue a business that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts, while working with government agencies.

From a broader perspective, the ACCC and the TIO will also collaborate on identifying and addressing systemic issues in the telecommunications industry.

For example, if the TIO becomes aware of a potential issue or activity in relation to one or more of its members that’s “causing consumer detriment” it will be able to notify the ACCC.

According to the MOU, the data sharing will be carried out in accordance with each parties’ compliance rules.

“Consumer confidence in phone and internet products and services is critical to maintaining a thriving telecommunications industry,” Ombudsman Judi Jones said. 

“This MoU sets out very clear guidelines and timelines for cooperation between our organisations. It also provided the opportunity for the ACCC and the TIO to consider the current telecommunications environment and realign our priorities.”

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