TABCORP-TATTS MERGER GETS A CONDITIONAL GREEN LIGHT

TABCORP-TATTS MERGER GETS A CONDITIONAL GREEN LIGHT

AFTER months of delays and challenges from the ACCC, gambling giants Tabcorp (ASX: TAH) and Tatts Group (ASX: TTS) are again in the clear to merge.

However, the Australian Competition Tribunal has made the deal subject to one condition: Tabcorp must divest its Odyssey Gaming business in Queensland.

The merger, which has faced heavy opposition from the ACCC and other Australian gambling groups, was thrown into chaos in July when the ACT had to review its original approval.

The objections from CrownBet and the ACCC resulted in a Federal Court order to revisit the original decision.

Today, the ACT says it is satisfied the proposed merger is likely to result in substantial public benefits and that detriments identified by CrownBet and the ACCC are unlikely to arise or are immaterial.

Responding to today's ACT decision, the ACCC says it sought review of the original decision in order to clarify the law.

"We achieved that objective, with the Full Court making it clear that the Tribunal was required to take into account all competitive detriment that is likely to result from the proposed merger," says ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

The ACCC will review the reasons of the ACT's decision when they are published on November 22.

Tabcorp remains in a trading halt at the time of writing.

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