VHA notes ACCC Statement of Issues in relation to proposed merger

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) notes the Statement of Issues from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to the proposed merger of VHA and TPG Telecom (ASX: TPM) via a Scheme of Arrangement (Scheme).

A Statement of Issues is a common interim step in the ACCC’s merger review process which sets out issues for further consultation.  VHA will consider the matters raised in the ACCC’s statement and provide comprehensive responses in due course.

Over recent months, VHA has engaged closely and transparently with the ACCC, providing a significant amount of information about the proposed merger, consumer benefits and challenges faced by providers in the telecommunications sector.

VHA Chief Executive Officer Iñaki Berroeta said VHA will continue to work with the ACCC on its review of the proposed merger.

“This proposed merger is a significant transaction, and we respect the need for the ACCC to make a carefully considered decision, so today’s announcement wasn’t unexpected,” Mr Berroeta said.

“Customers will be the big winners of a proposed merger between VHA and TPG Telecom, and we’ll continue to engage with the ACCC as we have done over recent months.”

“Increased investment requires increased scale, and the proposed merger will enable the merged entity to take competition in the market to the next level.”

“The merged company will have significantly increased ability to invest in networks, new technologies, and competitive plans and products for Australian customers.”

The implementation of the Scheme remains subject to approval by the Federal Court and TPG Telecom shareholders as well as other regulatory approval processes.

VHA remains confident the merger will be completed in the first half of 2019, subject to approvals.