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$11bn mobile merger in Australia to challenge Telstra and Optus

TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia have announced they are to merge to form a new A$15bn ($11bn) integrated fixed and mobile offering to challenge Telstra and Optus. Australia’s competition authority, the ACCC will soon commence a public review (expected to take 12 weeks) of the proposed merger. It will look at competitive impacts in mobile services, where TPG now has a growing presence, and also fixed line, where Vodafone is a discounter. The review will also explore likely impacts on spectrum availability, wholesale services, and roaming. The ACCC will also investigate the joint venture arrangements relating to spectrum, and network sharing.