Competition regulator the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has delayed a decision on Foxtel’s $1.9b proposal to takeover regional Pay TV provider Austar, following protests by Telstra’s competitors.
Optus and iiNet are believed to have complained that it left too much power in the hands of Foxtel shareholder Telstra, which was not bound by recent Foxtel undertakings to the ACCC.
The regulator said the timeline had been suspended to allow for more negotiations of those undertakings. Some describe the setback as merely a “drafting issue.”
Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein said in a statement, “Foxtel continues to work constructively with the ACCC in relation to the proposed Foxtel -Austar merger and related undertakings that Foxtel has offered to the ACCC. We remain optimistic about the outcome.”
An Austar shareholder meeting on Friday to vote on the transaction will proceed.
The final outcome is conditional on the subsequent decision by the ACCC and approval by the Federal Court.