Following the announcement earlier this month that alternative Australian broadband provider TPG Telecom was planning to acquire rival iiNet in a deal valuing the latter at AUD1.4 billion (USD1.07 billion), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking views on the proposed deal. With the regulator noting that the two aforementioned operators overlap in the supply of a number of telecoms services, including broadband and voice (fixed and mobile) and internet-based pay-TV, it is ‘investigating how the merger will affect competition for the supply of these … services, having regard to the areas of overlap between the merger parties and the extent of competitive constraints’.
In particular, the ACCC has said it is interested in several factors, including: the closeness of competition between TPG and iiNet and how similar or different their existing product ranges are; whether iiNet is a ‘disruptive or innovative competitor’; and the impact of the proposed merger on both price and non-price aspects of competition, including customer service levels, data limits and download/upload speeds. In addition, the regulator is keen to determine whether there would be sufficient constraints on TPG to ensure that it must offer competitive prices and service post-merger, while it also seeks to assess how easy it would be for existing competitors to expand and/or new competitors to enter the market and constrain the enlarged TPG.
Interested parties looking to make comments on the matter have until 30 April 2015.