The ACCC’s ongoing market study into the Australian communications sector has just passed into the next consultation stage, with the online publication of submissions made in response to the Issues Paper published in September 2016.

The study will examine existing or emerging competition and consumer issues in the sector, including to identify and consider current and emerging trends and issues that are likely to significantly affect the efficiency and level of competition in relevant communication markets over the next three to five years. We have previously provided you with updates following the initial announcement of the study and the subsequent release of the ACCC’s detailed Issues Paper outlining its key areas of focus for the study.

Submissions made in response to that Issues Paper have now been made publicly available by the ACCC to view online. Interestingly, although the ACCC received submissions from industry, industry and consumer representative bodies and other associations, more than half of the submissions received are from individual consumers.

In addition, the consultation process involved the development of three questionnaires targeted at consumers, businesses and smaller service providers. The ACCC received 1148 responses to those questionnaires, more than 1,000 of which were provided by consumers. A report summarising the responses provided to each stakeholder questionnaire has been published online together with other submissions.

The ACCC has stated that it continues to welcome input in relation to the study as it moves into the next phase of consultation early next year. The timeframe for the study remains unchanged, with a draft report expected by August 2017, and a final report expected to be released by November 2017.