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TPG's iiNet acquisition schedule laid out

Amidst investigation by the ACCC, the proposed purchase of iiNet by rival telco TPG has been clarified, with shareholders to vote on the sale on July 27, and the ACCC to have its say on August 20.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Australian telecommunications and IT company TPG is gaining momentum in its pursuit to wholly obtain rival telco iiNet, with iiNet shareholders set to vote on the sale on July 27.

TPG originally announced its intention to purchase Australia's third-largest internet service provider in March this year, before needing to up its offer to AU$1.5 billion to see off a counter bid from M2. If the deal is approved, the combined TPG company become the country's second-largest telco, increasing its customer base to 1.7 million.

The purchase is pending two variables: An affirmative vote from shareholders, and approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC last week said that it would look at the deal after iiNet customers voiced concerns that the customer service levels of iiNet could fall post-acquisition.

"The proposed acquisition would combine two of the five largest suppliers of fixed broadband in Australia. The ACCC is exploring the extent to which the acquisition of iiNet will reduce competition by reducing the likely competitive tensions in respect of pricing, innovation, and service quality," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC has given parties interested in submitting a response to TPG's proposed acquisition of iiNet until July 2, 2015, to do so, with the commission intending to publish a final decision on August 20, 2015.

Separately, the proposed merger of Perth-based telecommunications company Amcom and Sydney-based Vocus Communications is set to be voted on at 1pm AEST on Monday.

In November last year, TPG took a "strategic investment" in Amcom, claiming a 6 percent stake in the telco amid talks between Amcom and Vocus over combining the two businesses.

In April this year, TPG increased its stake to 18.6 percent, blatantly announcing the Vocus merger as the catalyst behind an increased investment. As a result, Vocus called on the ACCC to investigate TPG's intervention.

Back in 2012, TPG claimed that its then 7.24 percent share in iiNet was merely a "strategic investment".

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