As discussed in our recent blog post, in August the ACCC announced that it would undertake a market study into the Australian communications sector.

Yesterday, the ACCC released an Issues Paper detailing key areas of focus for that study. The release of the Issues Paper represents the first in a series of planned consultation processes designed to inform the study, with the ACCC indicating it will undertake further consultation next year to inform the preparation of both its draft report (expected by August 2017), and its final report (expected by November 2017).

The Issues Paper confirms the focus of the market study will be on competition, efficient market operation and investment incentives in the communications sector. The ACCC is now specifically seeking interested parties’ views on the state of competition in the communications sector and any other current or potential issues that could impact competition in the sector over the next five years and beyond. In particular, the ACCC has highlighted the following issues for comment:

  • increasing demand for data
  • transition to the NBN, with respect to competition and meeting consumer expectations
  • the mobile / fixed-line network relationship
  • industry consolidation
  • emergence of new technologies and delivery platforms.

The ACCC has also welcomed comments on relevant issues which have not been covered in the Issues Paper.

Submissions in response to the Issues Paper are due by 14 October 2016.