Optus has attacked plans by Australian market leader Telstra to make its Foxtel pay TV content exclusively available to its broadband customers.
In a submission to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), Optus described the proposed arrangement as a “blatant attempt by Telstra to use its ownership interest in Foxtel to tie up access to Foxtel’s content.”
Telstra, Australia’s biggest telco, is a 50% owner of Foxtel, the major pay TV provider.
“Optus forecasts that it will lose existing and future customers, since consumers who wish to purchase Foxtel's proposed service will have no choice but to purchase broadband services from Telstra,” SingTel-owned Optus said in its submission.
“This proposal should be seen as a thin end of the wedge for Telstra's ability to use its control of content to establish a broadband monopoly.”
Telstra hit back at its critics telling the ACCC that negotiation of the commercial arrangements for the proposed service were conducted at “arm's length between Foxtel and Telstra.”