Vodafone Australia and TPG are heading to Federal Court to seek approval for their merger, following the decision of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to oppose the deal on Wednesday.
Chief Executive of Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) Inaki Berroeta said the merger involved two companies with little overlap.
“VHA is an established mobile business with less than one per cent of the fixed broadband market, while TPG is the second largest fixed broadband player with no mobile network,” said Berroeta.
“The merger provides a unique opportunity for VHA and TPG to combine their complementary assets.”
TPG was in the midst of deploying its Australian mobile network, when it made the decision in January to abandon its mobile network build in Australia, and cop a AU$230 million accounting hit.
The company said the decision was made due to the Australian government’s ban on Huawei 5G equipment. The telco said it had purchased equipment for 1,500 sites, as well as 900 fully or partially completed small cell sites. The company has already racked up AU$100 million in costs, with a further AU$30 million to come.
Berroeta argued that the proposed AU$15 billion entity would be able to take the fight to its rivals.
See: ACCC opposes TPG and Vodafone Australia merger
“The merger would create an entity that can compete more aggressively in this highly competitive market than either VHA or TPG could on their own,” he said.
“It is disappointing that the ACCC does not see it this way.”
Vodafone added that the merger agreement with TPG has been extended to the end of August 2020 to allow for the Federal Court to make a decision, and for the merger to be completed.
Explaining its decision on Wednesday, the ACCC said the merger would reduce competition in the telco sector, and said TPG had a “commercial imperative” to deploy its own mobile network.
“TPG is the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market, and this is likely the last chance we have for stronger competition in the supply of mobile services,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“Wherever possible, market structures should be settled by the competitive process, not by a merger which results in a market structure that would be subject to little challenge in the future. This is particularly the case in concentrated sectors, such as mobile services in Australia.”
Sims noted that TPG has the fibre assets, transmission network, spectrum, and customer base to move into mobile, while Vodafone had moved into fixed broadband.
“TPG is also facing reducing margins in fixed home broadband due to the NBN rollout. Further, there is the growing take-up of mobile broadband services in place of fixed home broadband services which is expected to increase especially after the rollout of 5G technology,” Sims added.
“After thorough examination, we have concluded that, if this proposed merger does not proceed, there is a real chance TPG will roll out a mobile network.”
ACCC opposes TPG and Vodafone Australia merger
Consumer watchdog rejects deal to create new telco worth AU$15 billion.
TPG is still king of NBN speed report
TPG still delivers on its download speed promises the most often, while Exetel won on upload speeds, Telstra on latency, and Optus on the highest number of daily outages, according to the fifth ACCC report.
ACMA warns TPG, Foxtel, Aussie Broadband on priority assistance
TPG, Aussie Broadband, MyRepublic, Foxtel, Activ8me, Exetel, Dodo, Skymesh, Southern Phone, Spintel, and V4 Telecom have been formally warned to provide accurate information on priority assistance services.
TPG quarterly profit drops 76 percent after Huawei ban
While the mobile network abandonment brought down TPG’s Q1 results, the telco also made less revenue thanks to the broadband market erosion caused by the NBN rollout.
Huawei ban sees TPG end rollout of Australian mobile network
Australian telco says the lack of a clear upgrade path to 5G will see it end its network rollout.
Vodafone Australia EBITDA tops AU$1b but continues to post net loss
Net loss for the company down by almost a third to AU$124 million.
Check out the 2+2 Chevrolet Corvette that never was
The 60s was an iconic era in the automotive realm in the United States, with some incredibly popular cars getting their start then Vehicles like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Charger, to name a few. Sometimes it takes one vehicle to change the industry and spawn many similar products from the other automakers. Case in point is Ford and its Mustang, which kicked off the pony car era eliciting responses with other iconic vehicles.
Another of the iconic Ford vehicles in the era that sold extremely well was the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird routinely outsold the Chevrolet Corvette. Early in its production, the Thunderbird was a two-seat sports car very similar to the Corvette. It grew in later generations, becoming a 2+2, offering a back seat to carry more passengers. The vehicle in the image above looks like the iconic 60s split-window Corvettes that are so valuable today, but there’s a key difference.
The difference is readily apparent when you look at the side view image in the Instagram post below, where General Motors Design shared photos of a one-off design buck. A design buck is essentially the shell of the vehicle used by automotive designers of the day to get the vehicle’s design just right. This particular example was never powered and never cruised the streets.
The car was a response to the Thunderbird, adding backseats to the Corvette in 1962. Sadly, the 2+2 Corvette was never built, and reports indicate the design buck was later crushed. Another interesting tidbit is that GM reportedly brought in a Ferrari to help with the styling and proportions of the car.
As for what finally became of the project, a GM executive named Bunkie Knudsen, who was part of the styling team but wasn’t a fan of the project, reportedly worked to get the project scrapped. He believed it would taint the Corvette brand and wouldn’t sell in large enough numbers to justify building it. The only Corvettes ever sold by GM have all been two-seat sports cars.
Alpha Motors Superwolf is a completely decked out electric pickup
Alpha Motors unveiled a new version of its all-electric pickup called the Superwolf. The difference between this particular version of the truck and the ones that have been shown before is that the Superwolf is completely decked out with all sorts of accessories you might expect to find only on the aftermarket. One of the more interesting accessories seen on the truck is tube doors similar to what you commonly see on Jeeps.
Superwolf also has custom KMC wheels with large off-road tires, a custom front bumper with tow rings and skid plates, as well as a complete roof rack featuring an LED light bar and large locking case. In the bed of the truck is a rack that adds more style to the truck and supports the roof basket.
Under the doors are also compact step rails that look like they are intended to protect the vehicle’s body while off-roading. The truck also features wide fender flares and looks fantastic in general. Other interesting features of the truck include a bed cover that appears to be made out of aluminum and a rack that spans the bed allowing for items to be attached on top of the bed itself.
Several other accessories are available for the truck, including a bed extension and more. Other than the accessories, Superwolf features a driving range of up to 300 miles per charge. It has two motors for four-wheel drive and can reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The truck has a tow rating of 6724 pounds and features a rapid charger with battery cooling and heating.
The truck’s interior can hold four passengers and has a digital display for the driver along with the wide-format center display. Bluetooth connectivity and premium sound are also featured. Superwolf can be reserved now with a starting MSRP listed at between $48,000 and $56,000.
Classic 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am racer heads to auction
When it comes to muscle cars of the 60s, one of the most iconic is the Chevrolet Camaro. The value of a normal Chevrolet Camaro from the era is often very high. The value of this 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am is even higher as it’s an actual successful racing car from the era. This vehicle is the first of six Sunoco Trans Am Camaros that Penske Racing built.
This particular car has an extensive racing history with drivers Mark Donohue and George Follmer behind the wheel. The car has been completely restored by Kevin McKay in its iconic Sunoco racing livery. The car is said to be one of the most significant Chevrolet-powered racing cars ever built. Because of its rarity and racing pedigree, the car is expected to bring as much as $2 million at auction in Pebble Beach.
The car features a 302 cubic inch overhead valve V-8 engine and a single four-barrel carburetor. It’s estimated to produce 450 horsepower and has a four-speed manual gearbox along with four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. The front suspension is independent wishbone with coil springs, while the rear has a live axle with leaf springs, a setup common in the era.
The racing series the car was built for required a 302 cubic-inch engine. The Z/28 was born due to the need to produce examples for homologation. The Z/28 became the Camaro performance production model, with 602 examples being built in 1967. The first 25 of those cars off the assembly line were sent to racers. This particular car was the 14th produced and was sent to Roger Penske.
This car is the first of only six Penske Camaros built between 1967 and 1969. The auction house says that over $330,000 was spent to restore the iconic car completely. The car comes with a file documenting its extensive racing history and photos of the car as it was discovered and during its restoration.
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