Australia: ACCC rushes to rein in ‘astronomical’ texting fees

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced it will now regulate text messaging costs to rein in what have been called “astronomical” prices.

The decision follows a market inquiry conducted by the ACCC that reviewed comment from consumer groups over the fees. One of those comments, submitted by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, argued that the text messaging fees, known as SMS fees, were inflated due to termination costs, the fees operators charge to each other when texts are sent between different wireless networks.

”The level of profit margin is astronomical,” the consumer group’s chief executive office Narelle Clark said.

In a statement, ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said the regulation aims to lower text messaging fees for consumers and that the regulator is concerned that operators are currently allowed to keep termination fees well above what they should be, adding that the practice has “a negative impact on competition in wholesale and retail markets.”

Full content: Sydney Morning Herald

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