Telstra calls off $60m Adam Internet buyout

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Telstra calls off $60m Adam Internet buyout

Unable to address competition concerns.

Adam Internet will remain an independent ISP after Telstra's proposed $60 million buyout fell through.

The buyout, announced in October last year, has been vetoed after the parties failed to gain Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approval for the transaction.

The ACCC set out a detailed statement of issues (pdf) concerning the proposed buyout in late December last year; many concerns related to the impact on the fixed-line broadband market in South Australia, where Adam is based.

The commission had been seeking to make a decision on the acquisition by February 7, but the timeline was suspended a fortnight prior at the request of Telstra.

The Australian reported at the time that iiNet, Macquarie Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia had been lobbying the ACCC to reject the buyout.

A report by the Australian Financial Review last week revealed talks between the parties were continuing, though an ACCC spokesman told the newspaper that it was waiting on Telstra to restart the process the carrier suspended back in January.

Telstra's chief customer service officer Gordon Ballantyne said today that "in the end, [Telstra] had not been able to secure approval from the ACCC by the contractual end date".

"We are very disappointed by this outcome," he said in a statement.

Adam Internet executive chairman Greg Hicks called the situation "unfortunate".

"[We are] disappointed this important condition precedent could not be achieved in a commercially acceptable time frame, and therefore we will no longer be proceeding," Hicks said.

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