ACCC clears the way for Illyria and Birketu to acquire Ten
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has cleared the buyout of Network Ten by media giants Birketu and Illyria.
Birketu, owned by Bruce Gordon, and Illyria, owned by Lachlan Murdoch, propose to each acquire a 50% interest in Ten, and to operate it as a joint venture entity. Gordon and Murdoch have links with a number of media assets in Australia, with some concerned that this move would tighten the moguls’ stranglehold on the country’s media output.
However, the ACCC does not see enough threat to competition to block the proposed joint venture takeover.
- ACCC to crack down on misleading broadband speed claims
- ACCC could delay $11bn Tabcorp and Tatts merger amid competition concerns
- Read the latest Business Review Australia magazine
“The ACCC considers that this deal is unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any relevant market, despite it lessening competition via a greater alignment of Mr Murdoch’s, Mr Gordon’s, and Ten’s interests,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
The ACCC does not have significant concerns about the potential for overlap between Gordon’s WIN interests and Ten as the networks are broadcast in separate geographic areas.
“Our review focussed on how the transaction would result in an expansion of Murdoch interests in Australian media, when they already have a significant influence in newspapers, Foxtel, radio, and television production,” Sims continued.
“We considered whether the acquisition would significantly reduce competition, by causing a reduction in the quality and range of news content, or increasing the negotiation power of the combined Ten/Foxtel/News Corporation.”
It is as yet unknown how much money is involved in the deal, although Ten went into voluntary administration in June.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.