ACCC delays Foxtel / Austar merger decision -again.

The ACCC delays a final decision on a Pay TV takeover, but some describe the latest setback as merely a "drafting issue."

Competition regulator the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has delayed a decision on Foxtel’s $1.9b proposal to takeover regional Pay TV provider Austar, following protests by Telstra’s competitors.

Optus and iiNet are believed to have complained that it left too much power in the hands of Foxtel shareholder Telstra, which was not bound by recent Foxtel undertakings to the ACCC.

The regulator said the timeline had been suspended to allow for more negotiations of those undertakings.  Some describe the setback as merely a “drafting issue.”

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein said in a statement, “Foxtel continues to work constructively with the ACCC in relation to the proposed Foxtel -Austar merger and related undertakings that Foxtel has offered to the ACCC. We remain optimistic about the outcome.”

An Austar shareholder meeting on Friday to vote on the transaction will proceed.

The final outcome is conditional on the subsequent decision by the ACCC and approval by the Federal Court.

Source: Mediaweek, The Australian

2 Responses

  1. This is insane. We have been waiting and waiting and waiting and now we have to wait even longer. The ACCC is a complete joke. All they seem to do is delay, delay, delay. Time to do something now!!!

  2. This is rediculous. The ACCC decision was meant to be made at the end of November 2011 and yet 4 months later they are still delaying their decision. Just because they are the government they think they can do what they want and that time works on a different principle for them. Austar subscribers have been counting down the days and yet they go and do this one day before their delayed decision was meant to be made. The ACCC needs a total overhaul and who ever is in charge needs firing affective immediately.

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