Australia: NBN panel says ACCC needs its own watchdog

Just days after former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Graeme Samuel slammed the treatment of the National Broadband Network as a protected monopoly, an independent panel for the NBN is now calling on the Australian government to place the ACCC under stricter rules.

The panel, headed by former Victorian Treasury official Michael Vertigan, is advising the government to subject the competition authority to stricter regulations, but suggested little change to NBN regulations.

”The panel is concerned that the wide-ranging discretions that the regime vests in the ACCC mean that the risks and costs of regulatory error are potentially very high with virtually no checks and balances in place to curb any resulting harms,” the panel said in its report.

The recommendations follow Samuel’s comments that criticized the current ACCC regime’s handling of the NBN as the nation’s preferred wholesale network.

Full content: Business Spectator

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