A decision on the proposed merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has been postponed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In an update on its website, the regulator noted that – having initially set out its intention to issue a final decision regarding the deal on 28 March 2019 – it was pushing this date back ‘due to a delay in receiving information from merger parties’. As such, the ACCC now expects to publish its final ruling on 11 April, although it has said it will confirm this timeframe ‘when the information from the merger parties is received’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December 2018 the ACCC said that, after taking an initial look at the proposed merger between TPG and VHA, it had preliminary competition concerns over its potential impact on both the mobile and broadband markets. In summary, the ACCC at that date published a statement of issues which set out its concerns and specifically highlighted the possible impact of the deal on TPG’s activities in the mobile arena and Vodafone’s efforts in the fixed broadband market.