ACCC gives Telstra greenlight for Fetch TV acquisition
Australia’s competition watchdog has given the greenlight for Telstra’s acquisition of a majority stake in content aggregator Fetch TV.
Telstra gets greenlight for Fetch TV acquisition / Adobe Stock
Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, has proposed to acquire a 51.4% stake in FetchTV. Both companies supply content aggregation services through set-top boxes.
Fetch TV supplies set-top boxes to broadband retailers who provide an add-on to broadband services as well as direct to consumers. Telstra TV is supplied to customers with eligible Telstra broadband services.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reviewed the deal to ensure that Telstra’s ownership would not impact competing broadband retailers’ access to Fetch TV.
ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said, “Our investigation found that entertainment offerings are one important way for broadband retailers to differentiate themselves from competitors.”
“However, Fetch TV does not appear to be critical or a ‘must have’ aspect for Telstra’s retail broadband competitors to offer consumers a competitive retail broadband service.”
“With this in mind, it is unlikely the proposed transaction would lead to Telstra foreclosing rival broadband providers.”
“Less than 10 per cent of retail broadband customers in Australia acquire Fetch TV services from their retailer, and there are a growing number of ways in which consumers access and consume entertainment content, including through smart TVs without the use of a set-top-box,” said Carver.
The watchdog also examined Telstra’s 35% ownership of pay TV service Foxtel and determined there is sufficient competition from other technologies and services to avoid any overlap between Telstra TV, Fetch TV and Foxtel.
“The ACCC concluded that Telstra TV, Fetch TV, and Foxtel would continue to face competition from other technologies and differentiated services such as smart TV’s and hardware devices such as Amazon Firestick, Google Chromecast, and Apple TV and gaming consoles,” said Carver.