Telstra sale may not go ahead, says Australia

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 09 Aug 2006

SYDNEY: The Australian government yesterday suggested it may not go ahead with a public sale of its majority stake in Telstra, after the telecoms giant shelved plans for a multi-billion dollar high-speed broadband network. 

Telstra broke off negotiations with the country’s competition watchdog on Monday saying the A$4bil (US$3bil) project, that would offer higher Internet speeds to millions of homes, could not go ahead under current regulations. 

“You never say never, but it’s dead and gone,” Telstra senior executive Phil Burgess told commercial radio yesterday. 

Communications Minister Helen Coonan said the government, which owns a 51.8% stake in the company, must now consider its options. “We don’t have to do a retail offer,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio. 

“We’ve always said that we wouldn’t sell Telstra at any price, we’ve got to make sure there’s value however we do it. So we’ve still got to make a decision as to whether we do it and, if so, how.”– AFP  

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