Ugo Amadi Jersey  ACCC accused of harming competition in Vodafone, TPG telco decision |

ACCC accused of harming competition in Vodafone, TPG telco decision

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

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) opposed a tie-up between TPG Telecom and the local joint venture of Vodafone Group in May on grounds that it would discourage both from competing in each other’s markets.

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

“The notion that TPG would, if the merger’s blocked, roll out a mobile network is just not of the real commercial world,” said Vodafone lawyer Peter Brereton in his opening statement at a Federal court hearing.

Brereton said it would be “commercially crazy” for TPG to build its own mobile network to rival Vodafone‘s, and “that, in particular, is where the ACCC’s case descends into speculation and possibilities.”

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