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Foxtel and Fox Sports complete merger

Foxtel and Fox Sports have merged into a single company two months earlier than expected.

Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp previously owned Fox Sports and half of Foxtel, with the other half owned by telecommunications giant Telstra, with the merger forecast to be completed by June.

But the two companies on Tuesday announced the transaction had been finalised, leaving News Corp to own 65 per cent of the new company while Telstra now holds the remaining 35 per cent.

The merger, which was announced in August, plans to align ownership and management of the pay-TV business to allow it to meet the needs of Australian viewers and invest in local content and technology.

News Corp and Telstra have previously said the arrangements will better position the new company for an initial public offering in the future.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in December gave the merger the green light saying the commercial incentives of all parties would not substantially change and, therefore, be unlikely to lessen competition.

The Foreign Investment Review Board has also approved the deal.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn previously said the combined company would compete strongly in the media market, which has been reshaped by the emergence of Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon and other streaming services.

Telstra shares were down 0.6 per cent to $3.12 by 1109 AEST on Tuesday.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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