Tabcorp welcomes Australian Competition Tribunal decision

Tabcorp welcomes Australian Competition Tribunal decision

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Posted by Craig Davies
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Go ahead given for the second time following Judicial Review

In a release to the Stock Exchange, Tabcorp has praised the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision to give the greenlight to the long mooted merger with Tatts Group.

The Australian gaming operator has revealed they plan to work towards an implementation before the end of the year, with Tatts shareholders due to vote on the transaction at a scheduled meeting on November 30.

However, with a 28 day appeals period following the full reasons being published on Wednesday 22 November, this could be due to be pushed back.

In a statement, Tabcorp said: “The tribunal’s decision to grant authorisation for the transaction represents a significant step towards implementing the transaction.

“The tribunal has decided to grant authorisation in respect of Tabcorp’s new application for authorisation of the transaction (which was filed on 29 October 2017), and also in respect of Tabcorp’s original application which was referred back to the tribunal for reconsideration by the Full Court of the Federal Court.”

One condition imposed by the ACT was that Odyssey Gaming Services in Queensland must be sold, with Tabcorp stating that a deal agreed in April of this year with Australian National Hotels remains in place.

Following the decision, Justice John Middleton said that the tribunal is satisfied by the “substantial public benefits” proposed by the merger, and that detriments identified “are unlikely to either arise or are not otherwise material.”

Adding that the “the proposed merger would result, or would be likely to result, in such a benefit to the public that the acquisition should be allowed to occur”.

The ACT has given the go ahead for the second time on the merger, following objections made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCT) and rival betting operator CrownBet.

Totally Gaming says: The AU$11bn merger has been spoken about for quite some time now, and barring any further appeals could be set to move forward in a big way. However, all eyes will be on December 31, the date on which the merger agreement is due to expire if not approved beforehand.

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