Despite being opposed by the ACCC, the Tabcorp-Tatts merger could be allowed if the potential entity complies to certain conditions.
Australia.- The US$8.12 billion Tabcorp-Tatts Merger could be allowed if it meets certain conditions that the competition is trying to impose. Therefore, despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) telling the Australian Competition Tribunal on Friday to reject the deal, as it considers that there’s not enough evidence to consider it to be in the public interest, the arrangement could still happen.
According to the Financial Review, Andrew McClelland QC said on behalf of the ACCC that there are conditions that relate to “exclusivity in relation to media rights, no exclusive in the supply of media rights,” it should consider imposing if it decides to allow the merger. Besides, not withholding the supply of Tabcorp’s Sky Racing to 20 key pubs and clubs in the case of a conflict between the company and a racing administration.
Racing.com is also targetting to protect itself if the deal is allowed. They fear that Sky would demote racing in states that sigh deals with the broadcasting venture from its main channel or cut down its coverage. That would result in a decrease of betting on those races and then falling revenue to the racing authorities.
Tabcorp doesn’t want to be subject to any conditions but clarified that it would still allow Sky to be shown in Western Australia if that tote is privatised and in Victoria if it doesn’t in future own the TAB over there.
The venture between Racing Victoria and Seven West Media also wants pubs and clubs that operate Tabcorp outlets not to be obliged to acquire Sky vision and to be allowed to transmit Racing.com. Furthermore, they ask that Sky not be allowed to have the rights to match other bids under “first and last rights” clauses when broadcast rights are up for negotiation.
Tabcorp claims that nearly every racing jurisdiction, except for Victoria, has rejected Racing.com’s suggestions and support the Tabcorp-Tatts merger.