Alston offers direction to ACCC

Alston offers direction to ACCC

Federal minister for communications and IT, Richard Alston, has issued a directive to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requiring Telstra to separate accounting methods for its wholesale and retail businesses.

This, Alston claimed, would make Telstra’s wholesale and retail operations more transparent.

A spokesperson for the minister’s department said the directive would help the market identify any discriminatory access pricing or anti-competitive practices from Telstra’s supply of wholesale services.

The accounting separation regime was a major component of Australia’s competitive framework, the spokesperson said.

“Increasing the transparency of Telstra’s operations can give competitors confidence to compete in the market, and ensure they are not being discriminated against by a lack of competition,” he said.

Under the new ruling, Telstra is required to report on non-price terms and conditions. Similarly, the ACCC has to regularly report on the operation of the corporate market segment.

The government claims the directive — and the ACCC’s benchmark terms and conditions — will drive competition, and give consumers an increased choice of services and service providers, and lower prices.

The regulatory package will also give Telstra the chance to show it is not unfairly discriminating in the supply of wholesale services to its competitors.

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