CrownBet Raises Objections to Tabcorp-Tatts Merger

Jake Cooper | 19 Jul 2017

CrownBet Raises Objections to Tabcorp-Tatts MergerRecent Australian gambling news has seen the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) approve the merger proposed by betting giants Tabcorp and Tatts. Now, local betting brand CrownBet has become yet another large corporation to add its voice to efforts to annul the deal, which is based on legal technicalities.

CrownBet has launched its own appeal against the merger, with a spokesperson noting that the brand maintains that the proposed merger spells bad news for both punters and opposing operators alike. The brand has thus taken this step to help to ensure that all possible impacts of the merger are duly considered before it is pushed through by the Australian authority.

The move by CrownBet has followed an application by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) application to the Federal Court for a review of the tribunal’s approval of the massive multi-million dollar unification deal.

ACCC Pushes For Review Of Tabcorp’s Acquisition Of Tatts

In June this year, the tribunal approved Tabcorp’s proposal to acquire Tatts for a total of $11.3 billion. The final decision was handed down by ACT’s president, Justice Middleton, who placed just one condition on the deal. Middleton ordered Tabcorp to sell Odyssey Gaming, its pokies monitoring business based in Queensland, after which the proposed deal could proceed.

Since then, the ACCC has claimed that the tribunal has made three legal errors in approving the merger, which it wishes to oppose in a court of law. CrownBet has made a similar application on the same grounds as that of the Commission in an attempt to halt the deal’s progress.

ACCC’s Chairman Rod Sims has noted in a statement that his organisation believes that three ‘reviewable errors’ were made by the tribunal. The Commission is therefore aiming for these three points of law to be clarified, which are essential to the tribunal’s evaluation of the Tabcorp-Tatts acquisition.

Tabcorp Aims To Continue The Acquisition Deal

Commenting on these developments, Tabcorp has made clear its plans to continue with the proposed merger. The successful Australian betting provider is also prepared to oppose the ACCC’s court application, which was highlighted in a public statement.

In the statement made on 13 July, Tabcorp’s governance noted that the firm confirms its opposition of CrownBet’s application as well, and aims to pursue an expedited hearing of the issue to clear up any further disagreements regarding the merger.