The ACCC says it will not make a final decision on the proposal that Virgin Australia take a controlling 60% stake in Tiger Australia until the middle of March, and that the issue as to whether or not the low cost carrier would shut down its operations in the absence of approval will be ‘highly relevant’ to that decision.
The competition authority had been expected to make its final decision on the proposal today.
In its statement today, inviting further comment and submissions on the application, the ACCC says:
It had earlier expressed reservations about the competitive effects of Tiger Australia being controlled by Virgin Australia, which it also restated this morning.
Update: Tiger Australia has responded to the decision as follows
Tiger Airways Holdings notes the Statement of Issues published by the ACCC today which expresses its preliminary views on the proposed joint venture with Virgin Australia in Australia. Tiger will be providing a response to the ACCC regarding the Statement of Issues.
We reiterate our position that this joint venture with Virgin will allow Tiger Australia to compete more effectively in the Australian market, resulting in more low cost flights and continued benefits to consumers.
Given the matter is subject to review by the ACCC and as the interested party, it’s not appropriate for Tiger to comment further at this time.