Telstra Split Cleared by Regulator After Access Rules Revised

Telstra Corp (TLS), Australia’s biggest phone company, gained antitrust approval to split from its fixed-line assets, clearing the way for an A$11 billion ($12 billion) compensation package from the government.

The regulator accepted the so-called structural separation plan after Telstra gave rivals improved access and prices to its copper-wire network, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission said in a regulatory statement today.

Telstra shareholders last year agreed to give up control of the Melbourne-based company’s copper wires, the only existing national network, to the government-backed NBN Co., which is building a fiber platform. Telstra will set prices for rivals based on the regulator’s proposal during the transition to the new National Broadband Network.

“The ACCC’s acceptance of Telstra’s undertaking marks a significant milestone in the structural reform of the telecommunications sector,” Chairman Rod Sims said in the statement.

Telstra’s copper network is a legacy of its former status as a state-owned monopoly company. The carrier accounted for about three-quarters of the country’s fixed phone lines and about 45 percent of its mobile phone and fixed-line consumer broadband markets, the regulator said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.