Hutchison's shareholders have agreed to the company's plan to merge with Vodafone's Australian operations.
3 CEO Nigel Dews, who would head up the merged entity
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)
"We are very pleased that shareholders have voted in favour of the proposed merger. The Foreign Investment Review Board and the European Commission have given their approval," Hutchison Telecommunications Australia chairman Canning Fok said in a statement.
He said that the company would be responding to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) enquiry to say that the merger would deliver better competition, a better deal for consumers and more investment in the mobile market.
The ACCC had released a statement yesterday which had expressed concerns that the merger would result in higher prices for consumers, since Vodafone and Hutchison's 3 mobile were each other's best competitors. It also raised the issue that if Vodafone and Hutchison were to merge, the possibility of a new entrant to fill the void was "non-existent".
The ACCC said it would take submissions from the telecommunications industry on the merger until 17 April and would announce its own final view on the situation by 6 May.
The companies when merged would hold around 27 per cent market share, with around 6 million customers and combined revenues of approximately $4 billion for the 12 months ended 30 June 2008.