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Sunday, 20 November 2005 13:39

Largest competitors launch anti-Telstra ad campaign

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Australia's largest carriers after Telstra, have joined forces to lobby against any watering down of telecommunications regulations in response to Telstra's continuing claims that inappropriate regulation is damaging its business.

Optus, AAPT, iiNet, Macquarie Telecom, PowerTel, Primus and Soul Telecommunications have taken out a full-page advertisement in a national newspaper, in what they say are "the interests of an informed public debate".

Titled "Stand up for competition. And stand up to Telstra", the advertisement "highlights Telstra's recent attempts to pressure the ACCC, the Australian Government and the Australian people into changes to the laws that will benefit Telstra - and weaken competition."

Optus' corporate and regulatory affairs director, Paul Fletcher, said, "Telstra has been running a concerted campaign of attacking the regulation of telecommunications for several months. Today's advertisement highlights the flaws in Telstra's arguments - and suggests that Telstra's real motivation is to resist competition."

He said: "The people of Australia deserve the truth." And claimed that the advertisement "gives it to them in black and white".

AAPT CEO, John Stretch described the advertisement as "an unusual step brought about by a set of extraordinary circumstances."
 
"It is impossible to understand that a company like Telstra that controls 60 percent of the revenue while commanding 90 percent of the profits for the industry can be complaining about this sort of regulation to their business while a prima facie case exists to say the current industry structure delivers them substantially advantage."

He claimed that Australia was the only western country in which wholesale prices for telecommunications services were increasing.

 

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