ACCC Worried About Proposed Foxtel and Ten Acquisitions
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission expressed worries about certain aspects of Foxtel taking a stake in Channel Ten. According to the ACCC, the acquisitions would lessen competition for important sports rights, which would be detrimental to other free-to-air providers.
Foxtel moved forward with the decision to purchase 15 percent of Channel Ten back in June. As part of the deal, Ten is to take a 24.99 percent equity position in Multi Channel Network (“MCN”), the advertising channel joint venture between Foxtel and Fox Sports. Also, Ten will have the option to acquire 10 percent of Presto TV.
“The ACCC is concerned that the advantage Ten would gain in acquiring sporting content may lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the free-to-air television market, or in the broader market for the supply of television viewing services,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. He added that there’s also a concern that the acquisitions may lessen competition in ads, “including by further consolidation in this market, and by removing or reducing competition between Ten and Foxtel for advertising sales.”
The ACCC invites further submissions from interested parties until September 2015. They will announce a final decision on this matter on Thursday, October 22.