Huawei supports VHA-TPG merger

Files documents in the Federal Court of Australia to 'support its customer'

Credit: Dreamstime

Huawei Australia has submitted four affidavits to TPG Telecom in order to support its joint application with Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA) in the matter of the proposed merger.

In August 2018, VHA and TPG confirmed plans to merge the two telecommunications provider in a $15 billion "merger of equals".

In May, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) opposed to the proposed merger with ACCC chair Rod Sims stating that if it did not proceed there would be a real chance TPG would roll out a mobile network.

Soon after, both telcos filed legal action in response to the ACCC's decision.

The ongoing case in the Federal Court of Australia saw Huawei offer "this assistance to support its customer".

Huawei said that the ACCC has not objected to the content of the affidavits and no Huawei witness was called for cross-examination.

The Huawei evidence supports TPG’s propositions that it is unable to roll out a mobile network in Australia without Huawei, and that the products that Huawei proposed to provide to TPG were superior in terms of technology, quality and costs, the company said in a statement.

In January, TPG decided to stop the roll out of its mobile network in Australia due to factors "outside TPG control", the company said at the time. It added that the decision was a result of the Government blocking Huawei from providing 5G equipment in Australia.

Huawei Australia director of corporate and public affairs Jeremy Mitchell said the company was pleased that the ACCC "accepted our proposition that our 5G products are world-leading and cannot be replicated by any of our competitors".

As reported by The Australian on 1 October, the ACCC counsel alleged in court "there was no conclusive evidence that TPG didn’t have any alternatives to Huawei’s 5G equipment, a factor that the telco says is crucial to its decision to halt it mobile network.the ongoing court case".

ACCC believes there is a chance that TPG will resume the build of its mobile network if the merger does not go ahead which could result in more competition and options for consumers. The ACCC suggested that TPG had options and had discussed with both Ericson and Nokia, in order to go ahead without the Huawei more affordable equipment.

“Despite the claims of regulatory paternalism the ACCC is not in the business of building a mobile network,” ACCC counsel Michael Hodge said, as reported by The Australian.

“Is the ACCC specifying which vendor to use, which equipment to use, which poles to use?

“The ACCC is not doing that, we have not attempted to do that.”

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Tags Huawei

More about AustraliaAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionFederal Court of AustraliaHuaweiNokiaTPG TelecomVHAVodafone

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