ACCC withdraws injunction request against Tabcorp merger

The Australian competition regulator has withdrawn its bid to stop the Tabcorp-Tatts merger from moving forward while the appeal against its approval is heard, local media reports.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) originally sought an injunction after requesting for a federal review of Australian Competition Tribunal’s approval of the deal.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the injunction request was withdrawn so that the regulator could focus its attention on the appeal itself.

“We are saving our resources to focus on the main game,” he said.

Earlier this month, the ACCC sought for a judicial review of the ACT’s approval of the Tabcorp- Tatts merger, alleging that the tribunal made three “reviewable errors” in its decision.

Mr Sims said Tabcorp was not expected to try to complete the deal before the appeal was heard.

In an interview with The Weekend Australian, Mr. Sims said the regulator felt it had no choice but to appeal the tribunal’s decision.

“We felt that the basis of the tribunal’s decision, in three particular aspects, was a departure from what we thought was the usual and appropriate approach,” he said. “We feel that there is a fair bit of logic in our position in the sense that counting only substantial detriments when you’re counting all benefits just seems strange.

“The court will have the final say and we respect that but at best these issues have to be clarified. We think the way these things have been applied in the past have a lot of logic to it, so we are hopeful we can convince the court of that,” he added.