The Australian Financial Review reports that Telstra and Consolidated Media Holdings have agreed in principle for pay TV company Foxtel to make a $2 billion takeover bid for regional Pay TV provider Austar.
A merger would give Telstra, News Corp and Consolidated Media a near-monopoly on the pay TV industry, which would need to be reviewed by the ACCC.
“The three owners have agreed in principle, but there is no firm approval for a firm bid by Foxtel,” one source said.
Austar said it had not received a proposal for a takeover by Foxtel but talks had taken place.
“No assurance can be given that those discussions will lead to a proposal being put to Austar or its shareholders,” said Austar in a statement today.
Industry have been whispering about possible takeover plans for some time.
Foxtel CEO Kim Williams addressed the Australian Broadcasting Summit this morning.
“It’s speculative and we don’t comment on speculative commentary,” he said.
“I have nothing to say and the most interesting thing in all of the comments is that none of them are sourced to Foxtel.”