Foxtel has responded to today’s Statement of Issues released by the ACCC which has delayed any ruling on its takeover bid of Austar.
The ACCC Statement is not a decision but part of a review process that raises preliminary competition issues.
A Foxtel statement today said:
Foxtel remains confident that the proposed transaction does not substantially lessen competition in any market and Foxtel will respond to the ACCC as part of its ongoing process.
Foxtel believes the transaction will not lead to a lessening of competition in the retail market.
The retail market is highly competitive. Foxtel faces vigorous competition from the reinvigorated commercial and national broadcasters and their digital multi-channels, new IPTV and on-line competitors such as streaming services over broadband networks (such as Fetch TV), ISPs that provide content themselves together with online movie rental and download services, and DVD rental and sales.
Competition in this market will only further increase in the future with developments in technology and the rollout of the NBN.
Foxtel believes that the content acquisition market is highly competitive. In Foxtel’s view, wholesale content suppliers have considerable countervailing power.
Merging the two companies will not have a negative impact on competition but will rather see Foxtel offering a range of consumer benefits including new digital services and investing around $600 million a year in new and original Australian content while continuing to employ thousands of people.