The competition regulator has blocked a planned $15 billion merger between Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom in a shock decision accidentally released early by the watchdog.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which was expected to publish the decision on the deal on Thursday, said it “inadvertently published online” the decision on Wednesday afternoon while the companies were still trading.
Sources close to Vodafone said the company intends to appeal the decision, but was waiting for more information about the reasons for the regulator’s stance before launching legal action.
The decision shocked the market, triggering a 9 per cent plunge in TPG’s share price to $6.38 by 3.33pm in Sydney. Telstra’s share price dropped 2.4 per cent to $3.28.