The ACCC is commencing an inquiry about three identical Digital Radio Multiplex Transmitter (DRMT) access undertakings submitted on 30 October 2018 by the DRMT Licensees of Canberra, Darwin and Hobart.
The ACCC welcomes submissions from interested parties about whether these digital radio access undertakings should be accepted. The ACCC encourages all commercial and community broadcasters to share their views on the proposed undertakings.
The three undertakings submitted are substantially similar to those undertakings that have been in place for the five metro regions since 2013. Therefore, the ACCC will expedite its assessment of these new undertakings.
The ACCC is today releasing a consultation and position paper for comment. After considering submissions, the ACCC will then consider whether any further consultation is appropriate or whether to proceed to a final decision.
The ACCC is seeking submissions on a range of factors, including:
- whether the access undertaking complies with Division 4B of Part 3.3 of the Act
- whether the access undertaking unduly restricts competition in related markets
- the reasonableness of access prices, terms and conditions
- the reasonableness of the undertakings’ dispute resolution mechanism
- whether the undertakings include an obligation for the DRMT Licensees to not hinder access.
The consultation and position paper, along with details on how to make a submission, can be found at: Digital radio services
Submissions and responses are sought by Monday, 17 December 2018.
The ACCC is responsible for implementing and enforcing the digital radio access regime which is a part of the legislative framework introduced by the Australian Government in 2007 through amendments to the Radiocommunication Act 1992 (the Act), Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The access regime allows broadcasters to receive access to DRMT services on reasonable terms and conditions and ensures licensees do not discriminate anti-competitively between broadcasters. The access undertaking is assessed against the Digital Radio Multiplex Transmitter Licences (Decision-Making Criteria) Determination 2018.
Digital radio services commenced in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in July 2009 after the ACCC accepted an undertaking by eight DRMT Licensees in April 2009. On 19 December 2013, the ACCC accepted a variation of those undertakings.