Oz regulator will oppose Seven’s Foxtel bid

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has confirmed it will oppose the proposed acquisition by Seven Group Holdings (Seven) of the balance of shares that it does not already own in Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH).

Seven owns 25.3 per cent of the shares in CMH and around 33 per cent of the shares in Seven West Media (Seven Network). CMH owns 50 per cent of Fox Sports Australia and, indirectly, 25 per cent of Foxtel.

Seven sought clearance from the ACCC on the basis that it was actively considering acquiring the remaining shares in CMH and asked the ACCC to review a proposal for an acquisition of all of the shares in CMH.

The proposed acquisition would lead to Seven having substantial interests in a major free to air network and the largest subscription television company in Australia, as well as a 50 per cent shareholding in the company involved in the acquisition of the rights to the majority of Australian sports that are broadcast by Foxtel.

The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for free to air television services.

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