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

Australia : Australia regulator blocks massive TPG-Vodafone merger

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May 08, 2019 (Euclid Infotech Ltd via COMTEX) -- Australian regulators on Wednesday blocked the multi-billion-dollar merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom, in a surprise announcement that sent shares in the two firms plunging.

The two firms announced in August a deal to form a A$15 billion (S$14.3 billion) unit to take on Telstra and Optus in an increasingly competitive telecoms sector.

But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the merger "will reduce competition and contestability".

"The ACCC has concluded, in particular, that the proposed merger between TPG and Vodafone is likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of mobile services because the proposed merger would preclude TPG entering as the fourth mobile network operator in Australia," it said.

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