ACCC watchdog wants Tabcorp & Tatts to restructure assets

Australian gambling market concerns published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding the planned AUS $11 billion merger of gambling giants Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group has led to a restructure of assets in order for stakeholders to gain ‘final merger approval’.

Issuing a 38-page report, the ACCC has detailed that the combining of Tabcorp and Tatts assets would ‘significantly weaken gaming machine monitoring’ in the state of Queensland.

Seeking to move forward with its planned merger, Tabcorp governance is reported to have placed its ‘Odyssey Gaming Services’ asset up for sale, with a view of quickly disposing the subsidiary.

Following a rough start to 2017, in-which ASX-listed Tabcorp was fined a record AUS $45 million (£27 million) for compliance and anti-money laundering failures by ASX regulator AUSTRAC, an under pressure Tabcorp governance are seeking to deliver the merger to its investors.

The ACCC is reported to have competition concerns regarding the high penetration of joint Tabcorp-Tatts gambling services in smaller Australian states, but believes that the merger would have no impact on the ‘broader Australian gambling market’.

First announced in October 2016, the AUS $11 billion merger of Tabcorp and Tatts still awaits approval from the ACCC, the Australian Federal Court and a final committee vote by joint corporate shareholders.

The ACCC is expected to reveal whether it would support the deal on 4 May.

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