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May 8, 2019, 4:25 p.m. EDT

Australia : Anti-trust watchdog blocks A$15b merger of Vodafone's Australian business with TPG Telecom

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May 08, 2019 (Euclid Infotech Ltd via COMTEX) -- Australia's anti-trust regulator blocked a A$15 billion (S$14.3 billion) merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone's Australian joint venture on competition grounds on Wednesday, knocking shares in the firms involved.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) rejection of a deal between Australia's third and fourth-largest telcos - accidentally uploaded earlier than expected - unravelled the prospect of combining TPG's fibre and Vodafone's mobile networks.

Vodafone mainly runs a mobile phone business in a joint venture with Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd , but has struggled with reliability, while TPG largely has an internet business with a low-cost reputation.

The firms said they would contest the decision, but it heaps pressure on the growth plans of both, weighing especially on TPG to resume investment in a mobile network it quit in January.

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