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THE NEWS WRAP: ACMA warning after Telstra overcharges 260,000 customers

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a warning to Telstra, accusing the telco giant of overcharging at least 260,000 customers a total of $30 million in international roaming charges.


“While they had a very small number of complaints, they didn't try to look to see whether there was a systemic problem,” says ACMA full-time member Chris Cheah.


“The circumstances were quite particular, and that was because Telstra itself had received incorrect information from its overseas correspondent carriers.”


Westfield cashes in on US shopping centres


Shopping centre giant Westfield has announced the sale of seven of its shopping centres in the US to private equity firm Starwood for $US1.64 billion ($1.75 billion).


The sale comes on top of previous deals which saw Westfield offload $US2.6 billion worth of malls to the private equity firm during the past two years, with the global shopping centre giant continuing to own and operate 40 properties in the US.


“We are focused on redeploying our capital into superior retail destinations in major cities through divesting non-core assets and introducing joint venture partners into our high-quality portfolio of assets,” says Westfield’s joint managing director Peter Lowy.


Summers announcement leads to Wall Street rally


US shares rallied after former treasury secretary Lawrence Summers withdrew his bid to become the next Federal Reserve chairman, with Summers seen as being more likely to wind back stimulus than rival candidate and Fed vice chairwoman Janet Yellen.


However, the news was subdued by President Barack Obama’s warning that he will not negotiate with Republicans over an extension of the US debt ceiling.


“We are still riding positively on the Summers announcement, however with the debt ceiling deadline less than a couple of weeks away, there will be heightened sensitivity to it," Janlyn Capital managing director Andre Bakhos told Reuters.


"We are still up and the market is still riding a wave higher and until there is something tangible to create a sense of fear, the trend remains solid."




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 15494.78. The Aussie dollar is level at US93.23 cents.