VHA to file legal action over ACCC proposed merger decision

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and TPG intend to launch legal action in the Federal Court following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s decision to oppose the proposed merger of the telcos.

VHA CEO Iñaki Berroeta said the company remains firmly committed to the merger.

“VHA respects the ACCC process, but we believe the merger with TPG will bring very real benefits to consumers.  We have therefore decided that VHA should, together with TPG, pursue approval of the merger through the Federal Court,” said Berroeta.

He said the proposed merger is about combining two complementary businesses, which have very little overlap and can deliver more for Australian consumers together than they can alone.

“VHA is an established mobile business with less than one per cent of the fixed broadband market, while TPG is the second largest fixed broadband player with no mobile network,” said Mr Berroeta.

“Australia’s mobile market has delivered some of the best outcomes for consumers of any country in the OECD. The merger provides a unique opportunity for VHA and TPG to combine their complementary assets. The merger would create an entity that can compete more aggressively in this highly competitive market than either VHA or TPG could on their own.  It is disappointing that the ACCC does not see it this way.

“While we continue to pursue the merger through the court, it remains business as usual for VHA. We will continue to challenge the market by delivering the best value products and services we can to our customers.”

The merger agreement with TPG has also been extended to 31 August 2020 to allow sufficient time for the Federal Court to deliver its decision and for the merger process to be completed.

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