A regulatory decision on whether or not to allow TPG and Vodafone’s proposed merger to proceed is now not expected until mid-April due to a delay in receiving information from the two telcos.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said today that it had been forced to push back its consideration of the merger.
“[The] timeline [for a decision has been] suspended due to [a] delay in receiving information from [the] merger parties,” it said.
“Former provisional decision date of 28 March 2019 delayed. New provisional decision date is expected to be 11 April 2019.
“The ACCC will confirm the new provisional decision date when the information from the merger parties is received.”
The competition watchdog laid out a series of preliminary concerns it had with the proposed merger last month.
Its preliminary view was “that the proposed merger will substantially lessen competition by removing TPG as an aggressive competitor in the supply of retail mobile services.”
The ACCC is currently taking more information from both TPG and Vodafone, as well as canvassing opinions from across the sector.
TPG and Vodafone Australia agreed to merge the two brands and create a fully integrated mobile and fixed line telco estimated to be worth $15 billion in August last year.
The two telcos also created a joint venture entity which successfully bid for 5G spectrum in recent auctions held by the federal government.