TPG telecommunications decision, Australian regulator accused of damaging Vodafone competition

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rejected a link between TPG Telecom Ltd and Britain’s local joint venture Vodafone Group PLC in May on the grounds that it would discourage the two from competing in each other’s markets.

Vodafone mainly runs a mobile phone business in a joint venture with Hutchison Telecommunications Ltd, while TPG has a low-cost internet business.

Australia’s antitrust regulator has hurt competition, has not helped it, by blocking a $ 15 billion merger between the third and fourth largest telecom providers, a lawyer told one of the companies a court said on Tuesday.

Vodafone’s lawyer Peter Brereton in his opening speech at a federal court hearing said that “The notion that TPG, if the merger is blocked, would crash a mobile network is not of the real world trade”.

He said “the deal would actually encourage competition but” the pro-competitive effects of this merger have been absorbed by the ACCC’s opposition to it “.

Brereton said it would be “commercially insane” for TPG to build its own mobile network for Vodafone’s rival, and “this, in particular, is where the ACCC issue comes down to speculation and opportunity.”

TPG abandoned building its mobile phone network which relied on equipment from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd after the Chinese firm was banned from Australia for security reasons last year.

But the regulator had said that TPG could revise the plan and that industry rivalry depended on it./Investing.com

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