20 June 2017
Tabcorp/Tatts – RBB expert testifies in Australian Competition Tribunal
RBB has provided expert testimony in the Australian Competition Tribunal hearing into the AUD 11 billion merger between Tabcorp and Tatts, two wagering and gaming operators. The ACCC and two interveners had raised concerns that various aspects of the transaction might lead to harm to competition and public detriments. An RBB team led by Patrick Smith, and assisted by Chris Whelan, Paulo Abecasis, Aniek Linssen and Mohsin Raza, prepared two expert reports, assessing the effect of the merger on competition in wagering, as well as effects arising from Tabcorp’s activity in broadcasting racing media, the overall effect on the racing industry, and net public benefits. During the hearing Patrick testified in two hot-tubs on these issues, along with economists instructed by solicitors representing the ACCC and both interveners. ACT president Justice John Middleton stated in conclusion that “the public detriments identified by the ACCC and the interveners are unlikely to either arise or are not of significance”, and the Tribunal placed only one condition on the merger, that Tabcorp must sell its Odyssey gaming monitoring business in Queensland, as Tabcorp had previously announced. RBB was instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills and Gilbert + Tobin, solicitors acting for Tabcorp.