Tabcorp and Tatts merger back on track

A tribunal from Australia revived the push by Tabcorp and Tatts to merge after an approval on Friday.

Australia.- The Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) ruled on Friday that the merger between Tabcorp and Tatts is allowed to proceed again. The Federal Court had stopped the initiative in September and sent the proposal back to the ACT in order to get it reviewed again.

“The tribunal is satisfied in all the circumstances that 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,” ACT said in a statement on Friday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 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.

After the ruling, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that he was comfortable with the outcome of the decision and that the commission will review the judge’s reasons once the ACT publishes the results on Wednesday. “We were very happy with the full court decision, we felt that dealt with all of our issues, so if that is carried forward into this decision than that should be fine. But we need to see those reasons next week,” he said, and added: “We never got to a view about deciding whether we opposed the merger … we put out a pretty light statement of issues then they took it off to the Tribunal which was very surprising. The only reason we appealed the first Tribunal decision was we felt it set a really worrying precedent for us for future authorisation decisions because we saw the test we applied versus the Tribunal was vastly different.”

Tatts Group said after the tribunal’s decision that the outcome is greatly welcomed, and that the next meeting’s date, which is scheduled for November 30, could be altered.

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