Telkom anti-competitive behaviour exposed

Paul Hjul

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I am sorry but I am missing the smoking gun:
Day 1: Service provider asked Telkom Wholesale for a Metro Ethernet service for client X
Day 1: Telkom Wholesale said the service cannot be provided to client X, because the required infrastructure was not available in the area
Day 15: Telkom Retail offers a Metro Ethernet service, which Telkom Wholesale said cannot be done, to client X
Day 15: Service provider complains to Telkom Wholesale that Telkom Retail made an offer to his client
Day 15: Telkom Wholesale promises to investigate the issue and give feedback
(own emphasis, underlining)

How Telkom Retail obtained the lead is all that is relevant - the implicit allegation is that Telkom Wholesale provided them with the information
BUT
assuming TW gave TR a lead and TR acted on the lead only for TW to say sorry we can't service the client - how the **** does Telkom Group benefit

it is perfectly possible that the Chinese Wall was breached by somebody but on the facts given TW is investigating same, moreover even with a breach there is NO BENEFIT TO TELKOM - so somebody ****ed up rather than Telkom advantaged itself in violation of the settlement.
 

MickZA

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Day 1: Telkom Wholesale said the service cannot be provided to client X, because the required infrastructure was not available in the area
Day 15: Telkom Retail offers a Metro Ethernet service, which Telkom Wholesale said cannot be done, to client X
Given that any form of inter-departmental communication seems non-existent within Telkom I wouldn't be surprised to hear that infrastructure was in the process of being commissioned at the time of the day 1 inquiry.
 

Paul Hjul

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Given that any form of inter-departmental communication seems non-existent within Telkom I wouldn't be surprised to hear that infrastructure was in the process of being commissioned at the time of the day 1 inquiry.
Even on day 15 the response from wholesale was that it cannot be done so even if commissioning had started the situation would be no different absent evidence that retail got its lead from wholesale.
 

rpm

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How Telkom Retail obtained the lead is all that is relevant - the implicit allegation is that Telkom Wholesale provided them with the information
I disagree. The bigger issue is that a service provider (SP) asked if the service is available, to which Telkom Wholesale said no. The SP could therefore not offer the service to the client. However, Telkom Retail was allegedly able to provide the same service to the same client. Why can Telkom Retail offer it, but it is not available to a SP?
 

Topdoggdbn

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this happens a lot with DSL
I think retail offered the service without actually checking if the service is really available and only when the order would have been put through would the customer have been told oops sorry no infrastructure.

Many people have received calls saying their area now supports DSL not realising they too far from exchange or for whatever other reason.
 

rrh

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I am sorry but I am missing the smoking gun:

Day 15: Telkom Retail offers a Metro Ethernet service, which Telkom Wholesale said cannot be done, to client X
(own emphasis, underlining)

How Telkom Retail obtained the lead is all that is relevant - the implicit allegation is that Telkom Wholesale provided them with the information
BUT
assuming TW gave TR a lead and TR acted on the lead only for TW to say sorry we can't service the client - how the **** does Telkom Group benefit

it is perfectly possible that the Chinese Wall was breached by somebody but on the facts given TW is investigating same, moreover even with a breach there is NO BENEFIT TO TELKOM - so somebody ****ed up rather than Telkom advantaged itself in violation of the settlement.
I think that the line should read something like the following:

Day 15: Telkom Retail offers a Metro Ethernet service, which Telkom Wholesale had said cannot be done, to client X

i.e. TW says it cannot be done, yet 14 days later TR - who should know what is available - offers the requested service to the client, this without the client approaching TR.
 

b166er

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May 13, 2006
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Hellkom is a monopoly.. how the hell can it be competitive....
Indeed, a MONOPOLY being anti-competitive...imagine that. They have been taught this behaviour for decades, and fines do not seem to bother them at all. They are state owned and government would never let them hang themselves, and they know this. Fines on Telkom must be like depositing money into a future "bail-out" fund.
 

Paul Hjul

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But it isn't available to Telkom Retail - Telkom Retail has to go back to the the client and say, um sorry we ****ed up and can't deliver on this service
 

Dlamaqhinga

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Even on day 15 the response from wholesale was that it cannot be done so even if commissioning had started the situation would be no different absent evidence that retail got its lead from wholesale.
Wrong the customer never followed up to see if ME is now available on Day 15, Day 15 they complained to TW that TR is offering ME that TW said was / is not available on Day 1.
 

Ecco

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So will MyBroadband be making these findings available to the Competition Tribunal?
 

Paul Hjul

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I think that the line should read something like the following:

Day 15: Telkom Retail offers a Metro Ethernet service, which Telkom Wholesale had said cannot be done, to client X

i.e. TW says it cannot be done, yet 14 days later TR - who should know what is available - offers the requested service to the client, this without the client approaching TR.
Quoting the article - the addition of had would change things but this isn't what is in the article

Unless Telkom Retail is able to deliver the service - or something surfaces that TW was lying as to the ability to deliver to the service provider - we are left with only the fact that the SP and TR chased the same customer and TW is unable to assist either of them.
 

Paul Hjul

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Wrong the customer never followed up to see if ME is now available on Day 15, Day 15 they complained to TW that TR is offering ME that TW said was / is not available on Day 1.
The end customer probably didn't do anything other than inform the SP that TR approached them. There is no indication that TR would be able to obtain the service - and that is the whole point. If TR can provide the service then TG is in violation of the Comp Comm settlement, if TR can't then TR can be taken on by the end customer for offering an undeliverable service.
 

Paul Hjul

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this happens a lot with DSL
I think retail offered the service without actually checking if the service is really available and only when the order would have been put through would the customer have been told oops sorry no infrastructure.

Many people have received calls saying their area now supports DSL not realising they too far from exchange or for whatever other reason.
Yep - Telkom connected sales people phoning up wanting you to upgrade your account to 10Mbps uncapped (so selling a TI product) when the exchange only supports 4Mbps - followed by a call to the Pinnacle call centre and informing them of same tends to result in a VERY apologetic phone call.
 

Paul Hjul

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I disagree. The bigger issue is that a service provider (SP) asked if the service is available, to which Telkom Wholesale said no. The SP could therefore not offer the service to the client. However, Telkom Retail was allegedly able to provide the same service to the same client. Why can Telkom Retail offer it, but it is not available to a SP?
However we have no evidence that TR is able to offer the service and that would be the smoking gun of violating the agreement - with that smoking gun six months ago I would be the first person to lay a complaint with the Comp Comm and ICASA against Telkom, without it then and now there is no basis to lay such a complaint.

Telkom Retail offering undeliverable services has happened in the past.
 

Rudimental

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I am sorry but I am missing the smoking gun:

(own emphasis, underlining)

How Telkom Retail obtained the lead is all that is relevant - the implicit allegation is that Telkom Wholesale provided them with the information
BUT
assuming TW gave TR a lead and TR acted on the lead only for TW to say sorry we can't service the client - how the **** does Telkom Group benefit

it is perfectly possible that the Chinese Wall was breached by somebody but on the facts given TW is investigating same, moreover even with a breach there is NO BENEFIT TO TELKOM - so somebody ****ed up rather than Telkom advantaged itself in violation of the settlement.
As far I understand it, for something to be anti-competitive does not require it to be efficacious, but rather it just has to be an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. It is the practice of passing confidential customer information to a sister company with the intention of gaining an advantage that is anti-competitive, whether any particular instance of this practice in fact affects competition or not seems largely irrelevant.

Also, I would be concerned about these practices in light of POPI.
 
Last edited:

Dlamaqhinga

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As far I understand it, for something to be anti-competitive does not require it to be efficacious, but rather it just has to be an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. It is the practice of passing confidential customer information to a sister company that is anti-competitive, whether any particular instance of this practice in fact affects competition or not seems largely irrelevant.

Also, I would be concerned about these practices in light of POPI.
Big question did TW pass the info to TR?
 

whatwhat

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Telkom Retail offered them the service, doesn't mean they were able to get it.

Many times you get called up for some speed upgrade only to find out your exchange doesn't support it.

In this case sounds like the user saw a shiny new MSAN, thought he could get 10/20/40 and the ISP said no.
2 weeks later after the MSAN has been commissioned, Telkom offers it to the user. Telkom won't offer to you unless you also have a Telkom ISP account most of the time.
User cries, ISP shows why people should let Telkom manage their lines.
 

Paul Hjul

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@Rudimental

Anti-competitive behaviour rests in intent not effect, agreed that isn't neccessary for Telkom to have benefited as the end result. However agent intent and corporate intent are separate here and we have to assume that a company's intent is rational - it isn't rational to pass on meaningless information (which would be the case if Telkom Wholesale would not be able to provision) and therefore the intent is rebutted.

The point is that evidence of passing confidential customer information within the same company (they aren't sister companies) hasn't been shown - it has been inferred. The evidence could best be located however from within Telkom - Telkom can look for a leak and are obligated to do so under the settlement and they have policies for this, these policies have not been explored. At this stage we don't have a smoking gun nor evidence of a company policy and for that matter we don't even have evidence that Telkom Retail received the information at all - I'd press that Telkom Retail is obliged to account for how it made the lead and Telkom Wholesale is obliged to indicate whether the service can now be provisioned or not - if it can't the Retail ****ed up, if it can then it has to account for disclosing to the SP that it can't -- did TW lie?

Lets say we were on day 75 (60 days after the possible leak being reported to Telkom) and there was still no explanation as to how Telkom Retail obtained the lead and whether it is or isn't possible to provision the service then the Comp Comm Settlement kicks in an Telkom is in **** on that front.
 
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