TPG and Telstra have told the ACCC that Optus had the chance to negotiate a network-sharing or roaming deal with TPG, but chose not to.
In a submission [pdf] to the ACCC’s inquiry into the deal, the two carriers (via law firm Gilbert + Tobin) said that all Optus would put on the table was a roaming agreement, which was trumped by the more attractive deal with Telstra.
“It can be ascertained from Optus’ evidence that was in the process of offering TPG in alternative roaming arrangement but was out-competed by Telstra,” the submission states.
Having missed its chance, Optus, they said, “wants the ACCC to use this authorisation process to prevent Telstra from competing as a supplier of network sharing in regional Australia in the future”.
By excluding Telstra from offering regional network sharing, Optus would be able to impose on TPG a “worse deal for itself and for competition”.
Their submission asserts that Telstra and Optus should be expected to compete on their ability to offer network sharing services.
“Under the proposed transaction, TPG can re-test the market for network sharing (or other technological solutions) at the end of the initial 10-year term.
“Competition for this market between Telstra and Optus would be real and offer a meaningful benefit for TPG and customers.
“Without the proposed transaction no competition can exist in that market and TPG will remain limited indefinitely to rely upon Optus as the only permitted supplier of network access in regional areas.”
This week, iTnews reported TPG doubts that it could reach a commercially acceptable deal with Optus either for regional roaming or network sharing.