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.”
Australian owned and operated email and SMS marketing software company, Vision6, announced the launch of its first-ever national brand campaign and new brand platform “Simply Reliable”. Founded in 2001, Vision6 was one of the first email marketing software providers in Australia and has since been relied upon by thousands of Aussie businesses and organisations for […]
Out-of-Home media company JCDecaux New Zealand has appointed business growth specialist Adam McGregor in preparation for its bid to win upcoming local government street furniture tenders across the country. With contracts for the provision of street furniture including bus shelters across New Zealand up for renewal from late 2022, they collectively represent the biggest advertising […]
Fetch TV has announced that ABC iview will soon be available as a dedicated Virtual Playlist Channel on the Fetch platform. Virtual Playlist Channels (VPCs) were developed by Fetch to promote content discovery, and to provide a clear bridge between the traditional world of linear TV and the growing availability of on demand content via […]
Jackie Gillies, businesswoman, psychic medium and cast member of The Real Housewives of Melbourne is bringing her sassy, inspirational and adventurous spirit to her new podcast Shine It Up, With Jackie Gillies, which launches today via Acast. Hosted and distributed by the creator-first podcast company Acast, the show will offer listeners inspiration and motivation to […]
Crowdsourcing platforms DesignCrowd and BrandCrowd are promoting vaccination efforts in a unique way, launching a logo redesign contest among their networks of designers. The initiative saw iconic Australian brands such as Hungry Jack’s, Jetstar, JB Hi-Fi, and Bunnings undergo a redesign. “We thought it would be fun to see some other iconic Australian brands back […]
Jillian Davison has been named editor-in-chief of the recently relaunched Harper’s BAZAAR Australia. She will oversee all content, development and creative direction across the iconic magazine’s digital and brand platforms. Davison (pictured) succeeds Eugenie Kelly, who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities. The announcement was made by Maureen Jordan, publisher of Harper’s BAZAAR Australia […]
Freedom Foods and 72andSunny Sydney have launched the first advertising campaign for Australia’s Own range of plant-based beverages. The campaign introduces a new visual world and identity for the brand and captures the healthy, positive feeling you get when spending time in nature and when consuming Australia’s Own certified-organic, plant-based beverages. As well as featuring […]