Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Foxtel banned from negotiating exclusive internet rights deals in ACCC's Austar merger ruling

The pay TV company Foxtel has been given the go ahead to swallow its regional rival Austar but only after agreeing to strict conditions imposed by the competition regulator.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has banned Foxtel from negotiating exclusive content deals for internet television which had the potential to lock out fledgling IPTV companies such as Fetch TV and Quickflix.

The regulator's concerns centred on Telstra's 50 per cent ownership of Foxtel and the telco's much greater market dominance if the $2 billion deal went unchallenged, particularly in rural and regional Australia where choice is limited.

Listen to my interview with the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims who seems confident the pay TV sector can remain competitive given Foxtel's new dominance.

Read the ACCC's reasons for not opposing Foxtel's merger with Austar.

Here's Foxtel's response to the long awaited ruling from the ACCC.


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