ACCC Approval Delays Telstra-NBN Deal

Submitted by Share Market Writer on 2 December, 2011 - 15:23

Telecommunications Company Telstra (TLS) faces a crucial time to get the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to finalise its proposed $11 billion deal with the National Broadband Network. The telco seems to be running out of time after failing to submit the final revised structural separation undertaking (SSU) last night.

The approval of the watchdog was the last step in the completion of the deal with the deadline set at December 20. Otherwise, the chances are, either both Telstra and NBN will be forced to renegotiate or the deal will be terminated.

After submitting changes to its SSU to the ACCC earlier this week, the watchdog's commissioners have not yet reached a consensus. Telstra told its shareholders that they would not give in to the changes that ACCC wants if it has any material impacts on the company. However, if the telco will be forced to make any material changes, Telstra will resubmit its deal with NBN for a second shareholder vote.

Media reports say that there is insufficient time left for the ACCC to review and approve the SSU that Telstra will be submitting. However, Telstra is still making the most of the time it still has and confirmed that it is still going to submit a revised SSU.

"We remain in constructive discussion with the ACCC -- the negotiations have progressed well and Telstra has made a number of changes to address industry and ACCC concerns. Telstra will publish its revised SSU once it has been submitted to the ACCC," said the Spokesman of Telstra.

The deal with NBN includes Telstra's withdrawal of its copper-based network from service and allows NBN to access its pits, manholes and exchanges. In exchange, NBN will give $11 billion with benefits to the telco.