Vodafone and 3 to retain current tariffs for two years to gain merger approval

26 May 2009

Australian mobile operators Vodafone Australia and H3G Australia have made a final bid to convince the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that their planned merger would not negatively impact consumers. According to ITnews the two cellcos have promised not to raise prices for the first two years after any merger takes place, noting that all existing voice and data tariffs would be maintained. The move comes following a lukewarm reception to the proposed tie-up by the regulator, which has expressed concern that it could restrict competition in the sector. The ACCC was initially expected to have ruled on the matter on 6 May, but subsequently extended its deliberation period; it is expected to announce its decision on 29 May. Vodafone and H3G announced plans to merge in February 2009, revealing proposals to merge operations as a 50/50 joint venture named VHA Pty Limited (VHA). If the merger is approved the new entity is expected to continue to operate under the Vodafone banner.