Australian Court delays Tabcorp-Tatts merger

The Federal Court of Australia upheld a petition that wants to block the merger between betting giants Tabcorp and Tatts.

Australia.- The multi-billion merger between Australian companies Tabcorp and Tatts that was supposed to be finalised in November is now in danger as the Federal Court upheld a petition that seeks the blocking of the union. The US$6.9 billion plans are now back to be reviewed by the Australian Competition Tribunal.

As local media reported, the public needs to wait at least five more days to know the reasons why Justice Nye Perram decided to upheld the merger. After the veredict, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said: “The ACCC is pleased that the Full Federal Court has set aside the decision. However, the reasons for the decision are not yet public.”

The ACCC had previously attempted to block the measure as it decided to file the first appeal against the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision to allow Tabcorp and Tatts to merge because it was believed that three reviewable errors had been made.

Crownbet, led by James Packer, issued a statement after the ruling where the company detailed that the move by the Justice was welcomed with open arms: “The merger is bad for competition, bad for punters and not in the public interest,” CrownBet chief executive Matt Trip said.

Earlier this moth, Paula Dwyer, Chair of Tabcorp, said that all pre-implementations regulatory approvals were in place. Moreover, she added that together they would be well placed to pursue more investments and innovation across all businesses, including best-in-class digital products and experiences. One of the largest shareholders of Tatts, AustralianSuper, said that it will vote in favor of the merger. It is expected that they will end up with 58 percent of the combined group, whilst Tabcorp’s would have a 42 percent.

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