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Foxtel eyes up Channel 10 tie-up

Foxtel eyes up Channel 10 tie-up

Jacqueline Downes

Two firms have advised on the competition aspects of a proposed partnership between Foxtel and Channel 10.

Firms: Allens (Foxtel); Gilbert + Tobin (Channel 10)

Deal: Foxtel proposes to buy 15 per cent of Ten, and Ten will buy 25 per cent of Foxtel’s advertising agency MCN.

Value: Confidential

Area: Competition

Key players: The Allens team comprised partners Jacqueline Downes and Carolyn Oddie, associates Lincoln Verass, Theo Souris and Sophie Matthiesson, and lawyers Chris O'Yang, Emma Gorrie and Molly Snaith. Corporate partner Kylie Brown and senior associate Anurag Verma also advised, along with TMT partner Ian McGill and managing associate Valeska Bloch.

Deal significance: Foxtel is a major pay-TV operator within Australia, while Channel 10 is a free-to-air station.

Under the proposed deal, Foxtel will buy 15 per cent of Ten and Ten will buy 25 per cent of Foxtel's advertising agency MCN. Presto TV, which is part-owned by Foxtel, will also grant Ten an option to purchase a 10 per cent share of the company.

On 22 October, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission indicated it would not oppose the deal. Approval was also granted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

However, the deal is still subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval and various other conditions.

Allens partner Jacqueline Downes said the deal would have a lasting effect on the Australian media sector, highlighting a new approach to regulating markets in an era of increasing online competition.

“The Federal Government is discussing media regulation once again, so we may see further media market acquisitions as media companies position themselves to be best placed in this rapidly changing sector,” she said.

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