Telstra’s proposed acquisition of a controlling 51.4 percent stake in Fetch TV is set to go ahead, with the ACCC deciding not to oppose the deal.
ACCC commissioner Liza Carver said that Fetch TV "does not appear to be critical or a ‘must have’ aspect for Telstra’s retail broadband competitors to offer consumers a competitive retail broadband service.”
“With this in mind, it is unlikely the proposed transaction would lead to Telstra foreclosing rival broadband providers,” Carver said, even though Optus has paused offering new Fetch TV services to broadband customers.
“Less than 10 percent of retail broadband customers in Australia acquire Fetch TV services from their retailer and there are a growing number of ways in which consumers access and consume entertainment content, including through smart TVs without the use of a set-top-box,” Carver said.
The regulator noted that there remains a host of other technologies and services, including smart TVs and devices like the Amazon Firestick, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and gaming consoles.
“While Telstra is the largest broadband retailer in Australia, we have carefully examined the facts and circumstances of this acquisition as well as changes in the way consumers access entertainment.
"We have concluded that this acquisition is unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition,” Carver said.