Australia’s competition commission slammed price rises made in the wake of a merger of TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia, accusing the country’s three major operators of no longer being concerned about loss of customers.

Following a review into the country’s mobile sector, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) pointed to increases in prices from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia since the latter’s merger into TPG was completed in July 2020.

“Since July 2020, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have increased the price of several post-paid plans, and have effectively increased the price of a range of prepaid plans by reducing their expiry periods, forcing customers to recharge more often,” it noted.

The competition authority had opposed the deal prior to its completion, but it was eventually overruled by other Australian authorities.

In its statement, it urged consumers to shop around and consider smaller providers.

ACCC chair Rod Sims explained its analysis showed “consumers will now be left paying significantly more for a range of mobile phone plans at Telstra, Optus and Vodafone”.

“The behaviour of the three big telcos would suggest they are not concerned about losing customers to rivals,” he added.