Tabcorp Sells Compliance Unit to Advance Tatts Merger
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released a “statement of issues” on Thursday regarding the proposed merger between Australian wagering giant, Tabcorp Holdings and its rival, Tatts Group.
The ACCC said that there are a number of issues facing the $11 billion merger, some of which can be easily resolved and some which will require more work. The ACCC found that the merger would significantly reduce competition in the supply of poker machine monitoring and other services to Queensland poker machine venues.
In response, Tabcorp has agreed to sell Odyssey Gaming, its Queensland electronic gaming machine monitoring business. Tabcorp bought the unit in 2016 as part of a larger deal.
“We’ve got one red-light issue, which is the Queensland monitoring issue – which is being addressed with a remedy and otherwise, we’ve got a number of amber-light issues; I think six of them,” stated Rod Sims, chairman of the ACCC. “Those amber issues are ones we feel we just need to work through.”
The merger would result in a combination of Tabcorp’s racing broadcast business, Sky Racing, with Tatt’s retail wagering business in Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania and the ACCC is assessing whether this will increase Tabcorp’s market power when it comes to licensed venues and racing media rights holders.
The 38-page document listed a number of other concerns and has invited further submissions to be made in response to the statement of issues by March 24. It plans to make a final decision on May 4.
In the meantime, Tabcorp says it is working with the ACCC to resolve the other issues that have been raised and Tatts has stated that it will “continue to work with Tabcorp to progress the competition approval process and all other regulatory approvals required.”
March 27, 2017