Internet, phone & TV

ACCC opposes TPG-Vodafone merger

The ACCC has decided to oppose the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Limited (ASX: TPM) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (ASX:HTA).

Australia already has a very concentrated mobile services market, with the three network operators, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, having over 87 per cent share. Similarly, the fixed broadband market is concentrated, with Telstra, TPG and Optus having approximately 85 per cent share.

ACCC opposes TPG VHA merger

The ACCC has decided to oppose the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Limited (ASX: TPM) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (ASX:HTA).

This information was inadvertently published online on our mergers register briefly this afternoon. We intend to publish a further media release shortly.

Using NBN fixed wireless

The National Broadband Network (NBN) uses a variety of technologies to deliver broadband services, including fibre to the premises, fibre to the node, HFC cable, and satellite. In some areas, it uses wireless technology connected to a specific location called ‘fixed wireless’.

NBN affordability a growing issue

The cost of basic NBN plans is becoming an affordability issue for people on lower incomes, with the plans now more expensive than what most consumers pay for equivalent ADSL plans, ACCC Chair Rod Sims told the CommsDay Summit in Sydney this afternoon.

For around $50 per month a customer could, and still can, get an ADSL internet and voice plan with a 100 gigabyte (GB) quota, or pay $60 for an unlimited quota plan.

Activ8me to pay $250,000 in penalties and refund customers for misleading conduct

The Federal Court has ordered penalties of $250,000 against internet provider Australian Private Networks Pty Ltd (trading as Activ8me) for making false or misleading representations and not displaying a single price when advertising its internet services.

The Court has also ordered that Activ8me offer to refund setup fees and allow affected customers to exit or switch plans without charge.

Telco prices down and more data on offer, but continued scrutiny needed

Lower prices and growing data services are the key consumer benefits in the ACCC’s communications market report for 2017-18.

Data downloads over the year jumped 45 per cent on mobiles and 27 per cent for fixed line services. During the period prices for mobile phone services dropped by 8.3 per cent in real terms, while fixed broadband prices fell by 1.5 per cent.

Optus penalised $10 million for misleading customers over digital purchases

The Federal Court has ordered Optus pay a $10 million penalty for its treatment of customers who unknowingly purchased games, ringtones and other digital content through its third-party billing service, following action by the ACCC.

Optus admitted that the company misled consumers and breached the ASIC Act when it billed customers for third party-produced content which they mistakenly bought or subscribed to through its “direct carrier billing” (DCB) service.