The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reiterated it is still waiting to receive information from Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and TPG Telecom regarding a proposed AUD15 billion ($10.6 billion) merger, until which it will set no provisional date for a decision.
Last month it said a provisional decision date of 28 March was delayed and the new date “is expected to be 11 April”.
However, in its latest update it said a “new provisional decision date will be confirmed once information has been received and assessed.”
A Vodafone representative told Reuters it has provided a “significant amount of material” already and is committed to the deal.
In December 2018 the watchdog aired concerns a merger would reduce competition in the country’s mobile and broadband markets, and pushed back the deadline for a decision by three months.
The latest update comes after TPG Telecom halted deployment of a mobile network due to a government ban on Huawei, its principal equipment vendor. The operator explained the prohibition of Chinese vendors from participating in 5G rollouts removed a key benefit of using Huawei, namely a simple upgrade path to the new technology.
At the time, TPG Telecom executive chairman David Teoh had said: “It is extremely disappointing that the clear strategy the company had to become a mobile network operator at the forefront of 5G has been undone by factors outside of TPG’s control.”
He added that while TPG Telecom remained committed to the VHA merger, it “must continue to make independent business decisions in the best interests of TPG shareholders pending the outcome of the merger process”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back