What was the challenge?

The ACCC declined to informally clear the proposed merger between TPG Telecom (ASX: TPM) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (ASX: HTA) merger in 2020. The ACCC considered that the proposed merger between TPG and Vodafone would reduce competition and contestability in the retail mobile telecommunications market.

Vodafone instituted proceedings in the Federal Court to seek a declaration that the merger would not be anti-competitive, and the case was heard over three weeks from 10 September 2019. Frontier Economics' Professor Stephen Gray and Warwick Davis provided expert reports to the Federal Court on the ACCC's proposed no-merger counterfactual.

Following the Federal Court’s approval of the merger and the ACCC's subsequent claims that the merger had caused price rises, we analysed price changes for retail mobile services in Australia and found little support for those claims.

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