Telstra is Australia's foremost telecoms group, offering fixed line, mobile and broadband, as well as cable television through what is currently a 50/50 joint venture with News Corporation for Foxtel. The group has a dominant position in its home market, especially in more rural areas, but has seen steady erosion of what was in fact a monopoly as recently as 1990 from rivals Optus and Vodafone. It remains the local leader in mobile with around 42% share in 2016, but competition remains fierce. In response, Telstra extended its reach to other parts of the Asia Pacific region and accelerated the introduction of broadband and other premium services in Australia. However, investment in new services was slowed by a long-running battle with regulators over how much access it should grant rival providers to its broadband network. This row was finally resolved in 2011 with an agreement to spin off that infrastructure into a new independent company that manages the so-called NBN, or National Broadband Network. The group has also divested its Sensis directories and classified advertising businesses, boosting instead its digital video platforms and launching broadband streaming service Telstra TV, which includes third-party services such as Netflix. Telstra bolstered its technical resources in this area by acquiring US-based streaming platform Ooyala in 2014. Low cost mobile brand Belong launched in 2017. Andrew Penn succeeded David Thodey as group CEO in 2015. Revenues for ye 2016 were A$27bn (approx US$ 20bn). Telecom Australia - later abbreviated to Tel-Stra - was founded in 1975 with the break-up of the national Postmaster General organisation which had previously controlled all communications and postal services. It went public in late 1990s and the government sold its remaining shares in 2006. Adbrands no longer offers a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
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Capsule checked 20th February 2017
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2017: 21st Century Fox's proposed takeover of Sky TV in the UK is still struggling to win clearance in the face of staunch opposition from activist groups, as well as certain corners of the media and Parliament. In the mean time, though, the Murdoch clan have turned their attention to Sky's Australian counterpart Foxtel. In the break-up of the old News Corporation conglomerate, most broadcasting businesses were transferred into 21st Century Fox, but what was then a minority stake in Foxtel was retained in the slimmed-down News Corp group. Shortly afterwards, News Corp bought out fellow stakeholder Consolidated Media to become 50/50 co-owner of Foxtel with telecoms group Telstra. It has now proposed the merger of its wholly owned Fox Sports channel into Foxtel. If that deal goes through, News Corp would become the 65% owner of the merged company, while Telstra's long-held 50% stake would reduce to 35%. The two owners could also float part of the company's equity at some point in the future. Separately, Australian regulators have given News Corp's co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch the green light to acquire collapsed local broadcast network Ten in partnership with another local media tycoon Bruce Gordon. Murdoch and Gordon are expected to each acquire 50% of Ten through their private investment companies.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th May 2015: WPP's Millward Brown research unit published its latest Brandz ranking of top global brands, marking a decade of annual valuations. There were two headline stories in the new report. One was Apple's elevation to the top spot, overtaking Google (though the rival Top 100 from Omnicom's Interbrand, published last September, already had Apple at #1). The other involved the elevation of supermarket Aldi above Tesco, which slipped ignominiously out of the Top 100 brands. Other "departees" included Yahoo, Prada and UBS. In general, technology and especially internet brands continue to dominate the chart, with Facebook the biggest riser, its valuation doubling to become the #12 brand overall. There were also big increases for Intel, Chipotle Mexican Grill, China Life, Audi and Tencent, whose valuations all jumped by more than 40%. China's Alibaba made its first appearance in the chart one place below Facebook at #13. Other first timers included Huawei, India's HDFC Bank, Telstra, Costco, Softbank and China Telecom. Not doing so well were Twitter - down 21 places, though still among the 100 - and also Samsung and Gucci who shed 16 places apiece. See the full report here.
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Aug 2014: Australian telecoms group Telstra is to acquire the 77% of equity it doesn't already own in US-based streaming video developer Ooyala for $270m. The company helps broadcasters, operators and media organisations deliver digital TV and video content across any device to mass audiences, using analytics to provide recommendations, personalised content and advertising to the end user.
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