Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/23/accc_telstra_primus/

Telstra rebate amounts to a 'parking fine'

Primus kicks off

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Broadband, 23rd February 2005 16:09 GMT

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) decision to order Telstra to repay AUS$6.5m (£2.7m) to rival broadband operators over allegations of anti-competitive behaviour has been described as little more than a "parking fine".

Primus Telecom - Australia's fourth largest fixed-line telecoms carrier - scoffed at the lame ruling made by the consumer watchdog saying that the rebate would do nothing to deter anti-competitive behaviour.

"Given the damage that Telstra's conduct caused the industry as it reaped outstanding benefits, the AUS$6.5 million Telstra now has to pay could be characterised as an excellent investment," said Primus' Regulatory Affairs Manager, Ian Slattery.

"This demonstrates the failure of the telecommunications competition regime and the need for its urgent rehabilitation before Telstra is unleashed as a fully privatised entity," he said.

Earlier this week Australia's competition watchdog ended a year-long investigation into allegations concerning anti-competitive pricing after incumbent telco Telstra cut the cost of its retail broadband service undercutting what it charged other operators for wholesale broadband. ®

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