ACCC will not stand in way of Tabcorp-Tatts merger

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has detailed that it will not challenge the Australian Competition Tribunal’s (ACT) decision to approve the AUS $11 billion merger of Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group.

Issuing a short market update, ACCC still believes that the Tabcorp-Tatts combination will impact industry competition within Australia’s gaming and betting markets.

Nevertheless, ACCC governance will not challenge the ACT’s November referred review and approval of Tabcorp-Tatts merger stating that there is ‘no error in law to which it can object’.

The ACCC had previously acted as deal supervising body for Tabcorp-Tatts but was dropped by merger leader Tabcorp in March 2017 in favour of the ‘stakeholder friendly’ ACT.

The ACCC would challenge the initial merger review undertaken by the ACT, citing that the competition body had failed to examine a number of wider stakeholder concerns leading to a Federal Court dispute and further delays to the merger combination.

“While the ACCC takes a different view from the Tribunal on the extent of the public benefits and detriments arising from the proposed merger, there is no avenue of appeal that would test the merits of the Tribunal’s decision,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement on Friday.

This week, Tabcorp governance has cleared two major hurdles in its pursuit to complete its merger with Tatts Group, creating ‘Australia’s outright gambling leader’. Betting market competitor Crownbet, announced on Wednesday that it too would not challenge the ACT’s decision to allow the merger.

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