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Australia's TPG Telecom challenges block on $10 billion merger with Vodafone joint venture

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Australia's TPG Telecom challenges block on $10 billion merger with Vodafone joint venture
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australia's TPG Telecom Ltd can be seen outside their head office in Sydney, Australia, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray   -   Copyright  David Gray(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – TPG Telecom has filed a case with an Australian court challenging the anti-trust regulator’s move to block its about $10 billion merger with Vodafone’s local joint venture.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) blocked the A$15 billion (8 billion pounds) merger earlier this month, citing competition concerns.

The deal was to combine Australia’s third and fourth-largest telcos to create a big player boasting TPG’s fibre network and Vodafone’s mobile system. The rejection, accidentally uploaded on the regulator’s website earlier than expected, had knocked down shares of the telecom operators.

The parties will seek orders to quicken the proceedings, TPG said in a statement on Friday.

An ACCC spokesman declined to comment on the proceedings.

Vodafone’s business, which has struggled with reliability, is a joint venture with Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd, while TPG largely has an internet business with a low-cost reputation.

“We believe the merger will create an entity that can compete more aggressively in the mobile market,” a Vodafone spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.

(Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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