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ACCC Looking Into TPG Acquisition Of iiNet

ACCC Looking Into TPG Acquisition Of iiNetAnnounced in March, under the proposed $1.4 billion transaction, iiNet shareholders will receive cash consideration of $8.60 per share, with the directors of iiNet having unanimously recommended the scheme.

The proposed acquisition has provoked mixed reactions, with iiNet founder Michael Malone calling for it to be rejected. Robert Millner, chairman of Washington H. Soul Pattinson, TPG’s second-biggest shareholder, subsequently said he was surprised by Malone’s comments.

In a request for submissions, the ACCC notes TPG and iiNet overlap in the supply of telecommunications services, including: broadband services (fixed and mobile), voice services (fixed and mobile) and subscription television services supplied over the internet.

“The ACCC is investigating how the merger will affect competition for the supply of these telecommunications services, having regard to the areas of overlap between the merger parties and the extent of competitive constraints,” the ACCC states.

The ACCC lists points of interest as the closeness of competition between TPG and iiNet, whether iiNet is a disruptive or innovative competitor, and the impact of the merger on prices, including discounts, special offers and bundled deals.

It is also interested in the impact of the merger on non-price aspects of competition, including customer service levels, data limits, download/upload speeds and contract terms, including duration.

After the merger, the ACCC stated it is interested in if there would be sufficient constraints on TPG to ensure that it must offer competitive prices and service, and how easy it would be for existing competitors to expand and/or new competitors to enter the market and constrain TPG.

The ACCC’s closing date for submissions is April 30 – further information can be found here.