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Foxtel gets approval for AUSTAR grab

Foxtel gets approval for AUSTAR grab

Four firms have advised in an ongoing transaction involving Foxtel’s acquisition of regional subscription television provider AUSTAR.

Firms: Allens Arthur Robinson (FOXTEL Management Pty Limited) Gilbert+Tobin (Telstra) Freehills (AUSTAR) Allen & Overy (Liberty)

Deal: Foxtel obtains competition clearance of its proposed acquisition of AUSTAR United Communications Limited.

Value: $1.8 billion

Key players: Partner Jacqueline Downes led the Allens team on the competition aspects of the matter together with partner Kylie Brown and senior associates Mark Heine, Robert Kerr, Charles Coorey and Eve Regnard. Allens is working with Foxtel general counsel Lynette Ireland and her team.

Deal significance: The acquisition, which was subject to clearance by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), gained the necessary regulatory approval on 10 April, after the ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition of AUSTAR by Foxtel. Downes said Foxtel’s proposed acquisition of AUSTAR was an unusually long and complex one, because of the concerns raised by the ACCC and market participants.” 'While Foxtel does not believe the transaction is likely to substantially lessen competition, Allens and Foxtel worked closely with the ACCC to obtain successful clearance, and Foxtel offered to provide behavioural undertakings that prevent it from acquiring exclusive rights to some channels and programs over the next eight years,” said Downes, adding that now that the necessary ACCC approvals have been obtained, the Foxtel-AUSTAR transaction will proceed to the next stage of court approval.

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