As the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) takes on the role of lead supervising body of the AUS $11 billion planned merger of Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group a number of industry stakeholders have addressed concern regarding the combination to create the Australia’s outright gambling market leader.
This week, former merger review body The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed that Tabcorp-Tatts governances were considering implementing customer racing pool price increases on weekends under an initiative named ‘Project Alfred’.
The ACCC detailed that as merger lead Tabcorp is studying replicating similar ‘Uber surge-style pricing models’ to its combined business pricing up weekend racing pool markets.
From a regulatory perspective the ACCC counsel, details that Project Alfred ‘casts doubts’ over Tabcorp-Tatts creating a fair market place for betting consumers. The ACCC further detailed pricing concerns relating to Australia’s biggest wagering event The Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne which would be dominated by Tabcorp-Tatts combination.
The ACCC counsel has urged the ACT to recall Tabcorp CEO David Attenbourgh to explain his firm’s position on weekend pricing and to disclose all information and documents on Project Alfred.
This week, Tabcorp-Tatts competitor CrownBet detailed its concerns to the ACT, with CEO Matthew Tripp personally stating that all market consumers would be affected by the merger with worse odds and higher charges.
“Tabcorp wants punters to pay the price for the merger through worse odds and service,” Tripp told the ACT .“If the merger goes ahead, the price of wagering services will rise and irreversible changes to the market will stifle competition.”
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