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Australia: ACCC accused of harming competition in blocking TPG, Vodafone merger

 |  September 10, 2019

Australia’s antitrust regulator has hurt competition, not helped it, by blocking a AU$15 billion (US$10.5 billion) merger between the third- and fourth-largest telecoms providers, reported Reuters. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) opposed a tie-up between TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia in May on grounds that it would discourage both from competing in each other’s markets.

“The notion that TPG would, if the merger’s blocked, roll out a mobile network is just not of the real commercial world,” said Vodafone lawyer Peter Brereton in his opening statement at a Federal court hearing.

The ACCC’s lawyer Michael Hodge said the regulator believed TPG could take on the country’s largest telecoms—Telstra Corp and Singapore Telecommunications’ Optus—even without the Huawei parts. 

“The prospect of snuffing out the only potential new entrant to the mobile market in Australia is a significant blow to competition,” Hodge told the court.

The hearing continues for the next several weeks, with company executives and industry experts due to testify.

Full Content: Reuters

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