ACCC hurt competition by opposing TPG-Vodafone tie-up, court told

10 Sep 2019

A legal challenge to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) decision to oppose a proposed merger of TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has gotten underway in the country, with the case now being heard by a federal court. Reuters reports that Peter Brereton, the lawyer representing VHA, said in his opening statement: ‘The notion that TPG would, if the merger’s blocked, roll out a mobile network is just not of the real commercial world.’ Further, he reportedly argued that it would be ‘commercially crazy’ for TPG to construct its own mobile infrastructure, while also suggesting that a merger of TPG and VHA could, in fact, encourage competition. Meanwhile, The Guardian cites Michael Hodge QC, counsel for the ACCC, as claiming that it was ‘entirely commercially realistic’ to say that TPG would resume previous plans to roll out a mobile network if the merger was stopped.