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News & insights

Date: October 2022 | Client: Optus | Sector: Communications, media & payment systems | Expertise: Regulation & competition

In the news: CEPA’s assessment of telecoms deal reaches the headlines

The Australian edition of iTnews, a hub of information on which Australia's technology leaders are said to rely, has published the article: "CEPA criticises Telstra for inefficient use of regional spectrum" (Richard Chirgwin, 14 Oct 2022).

Telstra and TPG have applied for authorisation under Australian competition law and to grant it, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) must be satisfied that the proposed transaction is not likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition, or that it is likely to result in a public benefit that outweighs public detriment. In the application, where the authorisation sought is limited to the acquisition of spectrum, the ACCC proposes to consider the transaction in the context of the broader effects of the three agreements entered into by the parties, which comprise part of the circumstances to be taken into account.

The iTnews article highlights some of the findings of our expert report, commissioned by Optus, to assess the specific spectrum issues in relation to the proposed Telstra-TPG network and spectrum sharing agreements. We have advised on lessening competition – arguing by reference to theory and other cases that the proposed transaction is likely to substantially lessen competition - and we have also advised on spectrum issues and on the net public test. The ACCC is expected to determine the application in December.

The latest report follows our advice about the competition impacts in relevant markets in Australia of the application to the ACCC for merger authorisation between Telstra and TPG. This work was previously featured on our website and details may be found in this news story from July 2022.

Our telecoms consulting team is growing to meet the increasing global demand for expert economic advice and analysis. We look forward to supporting telecommunications providers and their professional advisors in matters relating to:

  • competition policy;
  • cartels and other co-ordinated practices;
  • market definition;
  • mergers;
  • pricing strategies;
  • exclusivity and loyalty; and
  • economic evidence and dispute resolution.

To find out more, please contact our experts listed below.

Chris Doyle
Head of Telecoms United Kingdom