Thursday, 21 March 2019 05:18

ACCC sets 9 May as decision day for TPG-Vodafone merger Featured

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ACCC sets 9 May as decision day for TPG-Vodafone merger Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will hand down its final decision on the proposed merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia on 9 May.

TPG chief executive David Teoh had complained about the delay in the ACCC issuing a final verdict on the proposal, during the release of the company's half-year results on Monday.

At the time, TPG said it expected the ACCC decision in relation to the application for informal clearance of the merger to be made in May.

In December last year, the competition watchdog had issued a preliminary report on the proposed merger, saying that the disappearance of TPG, which it viewed as being on the way to becoming a fourth mobile competitor in Australia, from the fray through its merger with Vodafone would substantially lessen competition in the sector.

It also said it would scrutinise the impact of removing Vodafone as a competitor in the fixed broadband market.

But subsequently, TPG announced in January that it was cancelling plans for the mobile network due to the Australian Government ban on the use of equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies.

The company, which reported a 76.4% drop in profits for the first half of fiscal year 2019 due to the mobile network plan being cancelled, said, however that its fixed-line business would continue to be strong even if the merger was blocked.

"If the merger doesn't proceed, our board has to look at the various options. At TPG we still have our strengths. If you look at our fibre infrastructure, it is enormous. We still provide the best speeds," Teoh said.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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