ACCC Backs Foxtel & Fox Sports Merger

Galtero Lara
Diciembre 7, 2017

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission review of the merger began in October this year and commission chairman Rod Sims says the commission won't oppose the merger after finding that the "commercial incentives of Foxtel, Fox Sports, News, and Telstra will not be substantially altered".

"We focussed on the acquisition of sporting content and concluded that the proposed merger was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in this market", Mr Sims said.

News Corp, which owns Fox Sports, will see its equity in Foxtel rise to 65% and Telstra's share will reduce to 35%.

The combination will have little effect in the way the two businesses operate, but will change the balance of equity in Foxtel between 50/50 joint-owners News Corp and Telstra.

Currently, News Corporation owns 100% of Fox Sports and owns Foxtel jointly with Telstra.

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The ACCC considered how the merger would affect a number of different markets and took into account feedback from a range of market participants in reaching this decision. As part of the merger transaction, Telstra is appointed the exclusive telecommunications agent for Foxtel's digital products.

The ACCC defined "triple play bundles" as being voice, broadband, and content offerings.

"An important consideration was that consumers will still be able to access Foxtel's digital products even if they acquire broadband or mobile services from Telstra's competitors".

The five packs to choose from are Pop, which includes entertainment, comedy, drama, and reality TV, as well as HBO dramas and Foxtel Originals; Drama, which includes BBC, HBO, and Foxtel Originals content; Docos, which includes the Discovery, Nat Geo, BBC, Crime and Investigation, and History content; Kids channels in a "safe" app; and Lifestyle, which includes content from food, homes, entertainment, and reality TV channels.

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