All that petitioning designed to get the Australian consumer watchdog to stop the sale of iiNet to TPG was for nothing. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given the go-ahead for the sale.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that the sale of iiNet to TPG would reduce competition in the short term, but not enough to warrant blocking the deal.
“While the ACCC was concerned that the acquisition of iiNet by TPG may lessen competition in the retail fixed broadband market, particularly in the short term, the ACCC concluded that this would not reach the threshold of a ‘substantial’ lessening of competition as required under section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act,” Sims said in a statement today.
The statement added that because major ISPs like Optus and Telstra own and operate their own smaller ISPs, they’ll be able to “limit the harm to competition from this merger”.
The ACCC warned that this is likely the last ISP merger they’ll let slide through so easily, however:
“The ACCC has noted the growing consolidation in what will now become a relatively concentrated broadband market. Any future merger between two of the remaining four large suppliers of fixed broadband is likely to raise serious competition concerns,” Rod Sims added.
So that’s it: iiNet is definitely, definitely being bought by TPG. For what it’s worth, that petition designed to stop the sale got less than 500 signatures.