Australia’s Federal Court approved a merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) rejected the merger back in May 2019. The ACCC believed that a merger would limit competition in the country’s already concentrated telecom market.
Telecompaper reported that TPG and VHA fought the ACCC in court. VHA CEO Inaki Berroeta believes the court’s decision is “a great outcome for the Australian economy as it would allow for greater investment in next-generation networks including 5G.”
Berroeta also says the spectrum holdings of the merged company would increase VHA’s network capacity and scope for further investment, plus provide competitive plans and products for Australian customers.
In August 2018, TPG and VHA agreed to establish a new integrated operator in Australia worth over $10 billion. VHA said the merger would be “a more powerful challenger to Telstra and Optus.” The three telecoms — Telstra, Optus, and VHA — control nearly 90 percent of Australia’s mobile market, reported Telecompaper.
The ACCC also says it “stands by our decision to oppose this merger,” and that it “is carefully considering the [Federal Court’s] judgment.” According to Telecompaper, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, and any appeal by the ACCC, the TPG/VHA merger is expected to be completed by mid-2020.
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