Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) welcomes the Federal Court’s decision to allow the proposed merger with TPG Telecom to proceed.
VHA, along with TPG, will work to complete the merger so that the benefits can flow to Australian consumers.
VHA Chief Executive Officer Iñaki Berroeta said it was a great outcome for the Australian economy as it would allow for greater investment in next generation networks including 5G.
“It’s been 18 months since we commenced the approval process for this merger and we’re very keen to move forward and deliver these benefits as soon as possible,” he said.
“We have ambitious 5G rollout plans and the more quickly the merger can proceed, the faster we can deliver better competitive outcomes for Australian consumers and businesses.”
Mr Berroeta said the lengthy process to obtain competition approval for the merger and the Huawei ban had both unfortunately given “free kicks” to competitors for some time.
He said the Court’s approval had now removed that uncertainty and Vodafone could accelerate the delivery of 5G technology to its customers (as per the attached initial rollout plan).
He said the spectrum holdings of the merged company would increase Vodafone’s network capacity and scope for further investment.
“For the first time, Australia will have a third, fully-integrated telecommunications company,” he said.
“This will give us the scale to compete head-to-head across the whole telecoms market which will drive more competition, investment and innovation, delivering more choice and value for Australian consumers and businesses.”
Mr Berroeta said the merger should be completed in mid-2020, subject to the remaining regulatory/shareholder approvals, and any appeal by the ACCC.
“We’re looking forward to progressing our plans and will continue to keep our customers and the market informed of our progress,” he said.
30 August 2018
VHA announces a merger of equals with TPG.
8 May 2019
The ACCC announces that it opposes the proposed merger stating that it would “reduce competition and contestability” in the mobile services sector. It further states that if the proposed acquisition did not proceed, there was “a real chance TPG will roll out a mobile network”.
24 May 2019
VHA, working with TPG, files a Statement of Claim in the Federal Court.
10 September 2019 – 1 October 2019
Federal Court case is heard in Melbourne.
13 February 2020
Judge hands down ruling in Federal Court.