Foxtel Ten Deal Set To Be Ruled On This Week by ACCC
Foxtel’s proposed $77 million aquisition of shares in Channel Ten is set to be decided this week.
Foxtel and their owners Telstra and News Corporation are confident that the deal will go through.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will hold a meeting tomorrow and its decision on Foxtel’s stake purchase will be announced on Thursday.
“There will be a discussion this week where we’re scheduled to make a decision,” the ACCC chairman told The Australian. “Subject to how the decision making goes, this might be an approval or the release of a statement of issues.”
The Australian which is owned by News Corpration a 50% partner in Foxtel claimed that rumours in media circles were that Fairfax Media and Nine Network have embarked on a campaign raising concerns about issues pertaining to sports rights and movies. Foxtel and Ten declined to comment.
As part of the investment, Ten has acquired a 24.99 per cent stake in pay-TV sales house Multi Channel Network, and secured an option to acquire 10 per cent of online service Presto TV, a competitor to US streaming giant Netflix.
Foxtel chief Richard Freudenstein has described the proposed alliance as “pro-competitive”.
For decades, the free-to-air advertising market was split roughly 40-30-plus-30-minus between the three main commercial networks, with the ratings winner usually getting a much bigger share. But in recent years it has become a stubborn 40-40-20, split, with Ten running a distant third to the Seven and Nine networks.
If the ACCC grants approval, Ten will start a $77m capital raising at the same price as the issue of shares to Foxtel.