ACCC will not oppose TPG’s acquisition of iiNet

20 Aug 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has confirmed that it will not oppose the planned acquisition of alternative broadband operator iiNet by rival TPG Telecom. The ACCC said that it had found that the presence of the nation’s other major retail fixed broadband suppliers – Telstra, Optus, and M2 (including Dodo and iPrimus) – would be sufficient to limit the harm to competition from the proposed merger. Such competitive constraints, the watchdog claimed, would provide sufficient incentive for TPG to maintain the iiNet service if there is consumer demand for it. ACCC chairman Rod Sims disclosed: ‘While the ACCC was concerned that the acquisition of iiNet by TPG may lessen competition in the retail fixed broadband market, particularly in the short term, the ACCC concluded that this would not reach the threshold of a ‘substantial’ lessening of competition as required under section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act.’

Any further merger activity in the Australian broadband sector looks set to face a tougher examination, however, with Mr Sims adding in a press release confirming this decision: ‘The ACCC has noted the growing consolidation in what will now become a relatively concentrated broadband market. Any future merger between two of the remaining four large suppliers of fixed broadband is likely to raise serious competition concerns.’