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iiNet takeover the least of our competitive worries

Despite protestations from The Greens it seems highly unlikely that the ACCC will reject TPG’s $1.4 billion takeover of iiNet. It simply creates another sizeable player to challenge the dominance of Telstra.

It’s a move welcomed by Warwick Davis, economist at Frontier Economics and Matthew Lobb, GM Industry Strategy and Public Policy at Vodafone Australia. But they have other concerns about the level of competition in Australia’s telecommunications market.

Even though the ACCC’s recent annual report on telecommunications says competition continues to deliver benefits to consumers, we remain seventh from the bottom in the OECD table of broadband speeds, according to figures from Akamai.

So, why is competition failing to deliver? And can we learn anything from Israel, the country whose broadband speeds have increased faster than anybody else in the OECD, thanks to investment by Baraq, which Mai Barakat, a senior analyst at Ovum in the UK, describes as a near monopoly in fixed-line services.

This week Crosstalk examines the factors influencing competition and asks whether the ACCC needs to do a little more digging before declaring that its delivering “lower retail prices, more consumer choice at the retail and infrastructure level, more innovation and greater investment in networks and technology”.

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