Telstra forced to split retail and wholesale accounts
Author: Cosima Marriner
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Telstra will be forced to separate its financial accounts for its retail
and its wholesale divisions after new laws were passed in Parliament late
The Senate passed the Government's Telecommunications Competition Bill which
is designed to improve competition in telecommunications. Under the new law,
Telstra will be required to reveal the costs of its retail and wholesale arms
every six months. Competitors are relying on the new regime to expose whether
the country's largest carrier charges its wholesale customers more to use its
network than it charges itself.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will implement the
accounting separation within six months, once it has consulted with the
The competition watchdog will analyse Telstra's retail and wholesale accounts
to determine whether it is engaging in ``systemic price squeeze behaviour" .
The ACCC will publicly report its findings, with the first report expected
at the end of 2003. Telstra will also have to report how the service (including
faults and maintenance, ordering, provisioning, availability and quality,
billing and notifications) it provides its retail arm compares with that
provided to its wholesale customers.
Competitors who wish to connect to Telstra's network can seek access to more
commercially sensitive information about Telstra's accounts, which will not be
made available to the broader public.