Optus, Vodafone & Fetch TV Hit Out At ACCC’s Approval Of Foxtel-Fox Sports Merger

Optus, Vodafone & Fetch TV Hit Out At ACCC’s Approval Of Foxtel-Fox Sports Merger
SHARE
THIS



The competition watchdog’s recent decision to News Corp and Telstra’s proposed merger of Foxtel and Fox Sports the thumbs up has drawn the ire of three rival companies.

Under the merger, Foxtel and Fox Sports will be brought together under common ownership, with News holding 65 per cent of the merged entity. Telstra will hold the remaining 35 per cent interest. The merged entity will also enter a number of agreements with Telstra.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave the merger the green light last week after finding the commercial incentives of Foxtel, Fox Sports, News, and Telstra will not be substantially altered.

“Therefore, the change in ownership structure is unlikely to substantially lessen competition,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

However, rival companies Fetch (which has partnerships with Optus, iiNet, Dodo and iPrimus) Vodafone (which has a partnership with streaming service Stan) and Optus made the ACCC well aware of their issues with the deal, and were perplexed by the competition watchdog’s decision-making process, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Fetch CEO Scott Lorson said a statement of issues and further public inquiry into the Foxtel-Fox Sports merger was warranted, given the coalition it would form between News Corp and Telstra.

“We see [last week’s] decision as a missed opportunity by the ACCC to utilise the Section 50 review process to easily address industry concerns,” Lorson said.

“Focus will now shift exclusively to Section 46 as the last line of defence in the event of anti-competitive behaviour.”

Section 46 is concerned with the misuse of market power.

An Optus spokesperson told the AFR that the telco questioned whether it was a missed opportunity for the ACCC to review broader competition implications from the merger, given its long-standing concerns about the Telstra-Foxtel relationship.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd said the company was surprised by the ACCC’s reasoning for its decision on the merger, as it assumes Foxtel content would always be exclusive to Telstra.

“This is a substantial extension of the exclusive tie-ups between Australia’s dominant premium content, premium sports rights and telco players and can only reduce choice for Australian consumers,” Lloyd told the AFR.

“Once again, dominant players are allowed to stitch up side deals which tilt the playing field overwhelmingly in their favour.”

Latest News

Vince Usher Wins Top Dog Award At Miami Ad School Account Planning Boot Camp
  • Advertising

Vince Usher Wins Top Dog Award At Miami Ad School Account Planning Boot Camp

Ikon Communications strategist and account planner Vince Usher has been named Top Dog at Miami Ad School’s 2018 Account Planning course. Usher, who worked in teams throughout the course, also won three ‘Best Campaign’ awards for his work on live briefs by craft beer client 4 Pines, Tourism Australia and Ford. His team partner on […]

Drummond Golf Unveils ‘For The Love Of Golf’ Via JWT Melbourne
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Drummond Golf Unveils ‘For The Love Of Golf’ Via JWT Melbourne

Drummond Golf has launched its first brand campaign via J. Walter Thompson Melbourne.  The campaign speaks to golf lovers of all ages and skill levels about the benefits and frustrations of the game. Reinforcing that no-one understands and loves the game quite like Drummond Golf. Drummond Golf marketing director Ravi Abeyaratne said: “Our business and franchisees were […]

“Every Brand Does Need A Podcast Strategy”: Mamamia Creative Chief Mia Freedman
  • Marketing
  • Media

“Every Brand Does Need A Podcast Strategy”: Mamamia Creative Chief Mia Freedman

Brands have been advised to sharpen their plans for podcasts in the media mix, as audiences and creativity continue to explode in Australia and abroad. Speaking at Mamamia’s Podcasts Unplugged event in Sydney last Wednesday, chief creative officer Mia Freedman said not every brand needs a podcast, “but every brand does need a podcast strategy”. “We’ve […]

Clems Sydney Unveils Festive Spot For HP
  • Campaigns

Clems Sydney Unveils Festive Spot For HP

Get set to get all festivey with this fun Christmas spot. Or, alternatively, get drunk on eggnog. We don't mind.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Content Agency Storyation Grows In New Zealand
  • Media

Content Agency Storyation Grows In New Zealand

Award-winning content agency Storyation has grown its presence in the New Zealand market appointing Amanda Clarke (main photo) as partnerships manager. Co-founded by former Metro magazine editor Lauren Quaintance, the Australian-based agency has been working with Tourism New Zealand’s Premium and PR teams for more than four years. Based in Auckland, Clarke spent nearly a […]