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Foxtel $2b takeover of Austar approved

Reported by AAP
Friday, April 13, 2012
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Foxtel's $2 billion takeover of Austar has cleared its final hurdle and received the tick of approval from the Federal Court.

Justice Peter Jacobson granted final approval for the deal on Friday, three days after the competition watchdog gave the green light.

As part of court-enforceable undertakings, Foxtel was prevented from buying exclusive internet protocol television (IPTV) rights to 62 channels, including ESPN, Sky News Australia, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon.

Foxtel was also banned from acquiring exclusive video on demand content and exclusive mobile rights to TV shows and movies where the rights are sought by its competitors to combine with IPTV rights.

The undertakings last for eight years.

Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein said the company expected to complete the acquisition in late May.

"Today's court approval was the final hurdle and we are excited to start bringing together these businesses to form one of Australia's most dynamic and progressive media companies," Mr Freudenstein said in a statement.

In the meantime, Foxtel and Austar would continue to service their own customers.

Foxtel is half-owned by Telstra Corporation, with James Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation each holding a 25 per cent stake.

Austar chief executive John Porter said it was proud of the role it played in connecting regional Australians to the world.

"The merger of Austar and Foxtel will create an even greater Australian media company, one that will continue the Austar tradition of innovation, entertainment and customer service excellence," he said.

The takeover deal was overwhelmingly approved by Austar shareholders in a vote held on March 30.

01/11/2014 09:07Sydney, Australia. 1 November,2014
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