ACCC set to approve Foxtel, Austar merger: report

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According to a report in The Australian (subscription required), the acquisition of Austar by Foxtel is set to be approved today by the competition commission, the ACCC.

This is one of the last major hurdles to the long courtship between the two pay TV operators. After the ACCC's initial go ahead has been given, the details of the merger will enter a phase of industry consultation before final approval is given.

According to The Australian, Austar and Foxtel have given undertakings that some content will be made available to operators of IPTV (internet protocol television) services in order to increase competition in the subscription television market. Content that will reportedly be offered to online operators will include movies, lifestyle shows and some sport, such as Sky Racing, EPSN and Setanta.

The report suggests, though, that the most desirable sports, such as the NRL, Super Rugby and English Premier League football, which are available on the Fox Sports channels, won't be included as part of any content sharing deal. It's unclear whether Foxtel's rights to the Olympics or the AFL will be made available to rivals.

Capital city-based Foxtel announced its intentions to acquire rural Austar way back in 26 May 2011.



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