CK Hutchison (0001) yesterday said the proposed merger of its Australian telecom unit Vodafone Hutchison Australia with TPG Telecom has been approved by the country's court.
The merger is expected to be completed in mid-2020, subject to remaining regulatory/shareholder approvals, and any appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and will bring Australia the third and fully integrated telecommunications company, the companies said.
VHA chief executive Inaki Berroeta said it was a great outcome for the Australian economy as it would allow for more investment in next-generation networks. It's been 18 months since the company began the approval process, Berroeta said, adding the long process to obtain competition approval for the merger and the Huawei ban had given "free kicks" to competitors. He said the Federal Court of Australia's approval had now removed that uncertainty and Vodafone could accelerate the delivery of 5G technology, while the spectrum holdings of the merged company would increase Vodafone's network capacity and scope for further investment.