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ACCC Not To Appeal Federal Court's Decision To Allow TPG-Vodafone Merger

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or ACCC Thursday said it will not appeal the Federal Court's recent decision that the proposed merger between TPG Telecom (TPM.AX) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (HTA.AX) would not substantially lessen competition.

The Government agency noted that it does not have grounds for appeal, for which it needs to establish an error of law by the judge.

It was in May 2019 that the ACCC announced its decision to oppose the proposed merger between TPG and Vodafone.

On May 24, Vodafone instituted proceedings in the Federal Court. The case was heard over three weeks from September 10. In February 2020, the Federal Court declared the proposed merger between TPG and Vodafone would not substantially lessen competition.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims now said, "The ACCC remains disappointed by this outcome, which has closed the door on what we consider was a once in a generation chance for increased competition in the highly concentrated mobile telecommunications market. The future state of competition without a merger is uncertain. But we know that competition is lost when incumbents acquire innovative new competitors."

In Australia, TPG Telecom shares were trading at A$8.25, up 9.56 percent. Hutchison shares were trading at A$0.17, up 13.33 percent.

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