Having already been delayed once, regulatory approval for Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra’s acquisition of South Australian broadband provider Adam Internet looks set to take a little longer, according to The Australian. With the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) having been expected to issue a ruling on the proposed AUD60 million (USD62.4 million) takeover on 7 February, it is understood that Telstra itself called for the regulatory review to be suspended.A Telstra spokesman was cited as saying: ‘We will continue to engage with the ACCC and we’re confident we can work through any concerns in a timely manner. Telstra and the ACCC need more time to consider the issues raised by the statement of issues.’
As previously reported, in December 2012 the ACCC pushed back the timeframe for its decision on the deal. With Telstra’s rivals having called for the watchdog to reject the proposed purchase on the grounds it would reduce competition in the budget broadband market, the regulator released a ‘Statement of Issues’ on the proposed transaction, setting out its initial opinion on the deal, while also seeking further information regarding the matter of competition. ‘The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the proposed acquisition is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of retail fixed voice and broadband services,’ ACCC chairman Rod Sims noted at the time.