This summer’s unresolved merger dances are concentrated pretty heavily in APAC this year. Today Australia is abuzz with a new one: TPG Telecom and Vodafone Australia are talking about shacking up together.
TPG Telecom has been making bigger and bigger waves in the Australian infrastructure market over the years. Through the mergers with PIPE Networks, AAPT and iiNet, they became the country’s second largest internet service provider. Then last year they shook things up by announcing plans to build out a mobile network of its own.
Meanwhile Vodafone Australia, which is half owned by Vodafone and half by Hutchison, sits in the unenviable #3 position in the country’s mobile market.
A combination therefore would enable TPG to achieve its mobile dreams without all that pesky capex and time, and would give Vodafone Australia a deeper terrestrial infrastructure base with which to synergize. For competitors like Telstra, the deal might lead to some stronger opposition in the marketplace but at least not an additional competitor and a likely price war.
Everyone wins, except consumers who might enjoy having a fourth telco and a price war. It will be interesting to see what regulators say if the deal actually happens.
For now though, it’s just talk — albeit publicly acknowledged talk.
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