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Telstra has offered refunds to some subscribers of its AFL streaming service after the consumer watchdog raised concerns about the telco's disclosure of the size of its viewing screen available on mobiles and tablets. The consumer watchdog says Telstra in January introduced a screen-size restriction for live AFL matches on its Live Pass app - meaning games no longer appeared full-screen on many tablets - but did not clearly notify the change to subscribers. It is understood the change only impacted a small number of customers with more than 90 per cent of Telstra consumers streaming the app on phone rather than tablets.
Telstra has offered refunds to some subscribers of its AFL streaming service after the consumer watchdog raised concerns about the telco's disclosure of the size of its viewing screen available on mobiles and tablets. The consumer watchdog says Telstra in January introduced a screen-size restriction for live AFL matches on its Live Pass app - meaning games no longer appeared full-screen on many tablets - but did not clearly notify the change to subscribers. The AFL Live Pass app is advertised on the AFL website with images of matches appearing full-screen on tablets, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.
Telstra has offered refunds to some subscribers of its AFL streaming service after the consumer watchdog raised concerns about the telco's disclosure of the size of its viewing screen available on mobiles and tablets. The consumer watchdog says Telstra introduced a screen-size restriction for live AFL matches on its Live Pass app - meaning games no longer appeared full-screen on many tablets - but did not notify subscribers of the change. "When businesses make changes to the subscription terms of goods or services, customers should be clearly notified of the change so people are able to make an informed decision about whether to continue their subscription," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS) share price could head lower if it has to cut dividends further.
Telstra says competition in the telecommunications sector remains tough and concedes it will probably lose customers to smaller rival TPG Telecom when the market newcomer establishes its own mobile phone network. Telstra chairman John Mullen says TPG is "a formidable operator", and Telstra is not underestimating its impact on pricing and competition.
Telstra chairman John Mullen says the telco's board had "many sleepless nights" agonising over the decision to cut its historically high dividends but making no change would have put the company's balance sheet at risk. Mr Mullen told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday that he realised that the company's recent decision to change its dividend policy was tough on shareholders. "We spent many long hours debating it, many sleepless nights working it through in our minds, knowing full well the impact it would have on our shareholders," Mr Mullen said in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Telstra chairman John Mullen says the end of Telstra's policy to pay almost all profits out as dividends was tough on shareholders but he expects the company to maintain or increase the total dividend over time as earnings grow. Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Melbourne that the operating environment for telcos is challenging, with increased competition, digital disruption and the migration to the NBN (National Broadband Network) to be dealt with over the next two to three years. Telstra has confirmed its guidance for 2017/18, saying it expects income in the range of $28.3 billion to $30.2 billion and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of $10.7 billion to $11.2 billion.
The consumer watchdog has launched an investigation into the proposal to merge Foxtel and Fox Sports Australia into a single company majority owned by News Corp. Fox Sports is completely owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, while Telstra and Foxtel currently share ownership of Foxtel 50-50.
A technical issue that took down the entire computer check-in system for Virgin Australia has been resolved after thousands of passengers were stranded at airports. The disruption was due to an Optus technical issue which delayed flights from about 2pm on Sunday, with passengers having to be manually checked in, the airline said. After three hours, Virgin Australia confirmed the issue had been resolved, but warned passengers could still face some delays during the afternoon.
Virgin Australia has fixed a technical issue which took down its check-in computer system for nearly three hours. The disruption was due to an Optus technical issue which delayed flights from about 2pm as passengers had to be manually checked in, the airline said. The Adelaide Crows, who were due to fly home from Melbourne after Saturday's defeat in the AFL grand final, were among those affected.
Fairfax Media's shareholders are set to vote on spinning off its lucrative property advertising division, the Australian publishing giant said Friday. Like its international peers, Fairfax -- the owner of major mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review -- has seen profits hit by dwindling advertising revenue and circulation figures. The float of Domain had been flagged for some months, with Fairfax hopeful it would get a better market valuation if listed separately on the stock market.
Britain's GFG Alliance has vowed to invest up to US$1.0 billion in Australian steelmaker Arrium after formalising its takeover of the cash-strapped firm Friday, even as the sector faces a global supply glut and soft demand growth. The alliance, owned by Britain's Gupta family, in July beat a Korean consortium to buy Arrium after it went into voluntary administration last year with bad debt and plunging commodity prices. GFG said there would be "major capital investments" across several sites, efforts to streamline the business, and more iron ore and steel exports.
Australian publishing giant Fairfax Media on Wednesday posted a return to profit following a cost-cutting drive, although advertising revenue for its major newspapers weakened further. Fairfax -- which owns The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review -- reported an annual net profit of Aus$83.9 million (US$65.7 million) in the year to June 30. The turnaround followed a Aus$772.6 million loss reported over a previous 12-month period.
London-based GFG Alliance has bought Australia's Arrium, the miner and steelmaking giant said Wednesday, ending a tussle with a Korean consortium over the company after it went into voluntary administration last year. The cash-strapped firm, formerly known as OneSteel when it was spun-off from BHP Billiton in 2000, had struggled with bad debt on the back of plunging commodity prices. "The administrators and sale advisers Morgan Stanley decided the GFG Alliance offer was superior to the conditional offer of the Korean consortium with whom we were negotiating," Arrium administrator Mark Mentha said in a statement.
American investment firm Hellman & Friedman has kicked off a bidding war for Australia's Fairfax Media by making a multi-billion-dollar offer to rival private equity company TPG Capital's proposal, the publishing giant said Thursday. Hellman & Friedman -- former owners of US multimedia company and German publisher Axel Springer -- made an offer to acquire Fairfax at Aus$1.225-Aus$1.250 (91-93 US cents) a share late Wednesday, the Australian firm said. The offer is higher than TPG's revised bid of Aus$1.20 made on Monday, and values the publisher at Aus$2.82-Aus$2.87 billion.
A consortium led by private equity giant TPG Capital upped its offer for troubled Fairfax Media Monday and now wants to buy out the entire firm. Last week TPG and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board offered 95 Australian cents per share for Fairfax's leading mastheads and its lucrative Domain Group focused on property advertising. This would have left shareholders with Fairfax's regional papers, 50 percent of its online streaming service Stan and its beleaguered New Zealand business, which was recently dealt a blow when the country's competition watchdog rejected a merger with NZME.
Staff at Australia's Fairfax Media walked off the job for a week on Wednesday in protest at more hefty job cuts as the leading publisher struggles to cope with slumping revenues. The strike action by journalists, including those from the Sydney Morning Herald and The Melbourne Age, followed an announcement that Fairfax will cut another 125 editorial jobs -- a quarter of its newsroom -- as part of a restructure to save money.