The ACCC 's Wednesday afternoon premature declaration that it would forbid the consummation of the union between TPG and Vodafone couldn't come at a worse for shareholders.Or the two companies.
The competition watchdog publicly announced its decision at 3:37PM on Wednesday, 23 minutes before trading on the ASX closed for the day, giving traders nearly half-an-hour to make their thoughts known. The decision was initially scheduled to be announced at some point on Thursday, but the ACCC accidentally published its findings a day early.
Information regarding the Vodafone-TPG merger decision was regrettably made public in error on our website this afternoon. We are urgently investigating how this occurred. At this early stage it appears to be due to a technical error.— ACCC (@acccgovau) May 8, 2019
In that time, TPG's shares tumbled 98 cents to $6.04, or 13.96 percent. The telco had been enjoying a steady share price floating around the $7 mark for the past few months until the announcement.
Hutchison, which owns 50 percent of Vodafone Australia, didn't fare any better. Shares fell from 18 cents down to 12 cents, a 28.12 percent drop, in the last half-hour of trading.
Surprisingly, TPG and Vodafone's biggest competitor Telstra didn't get a bump in share price as a result. Telstra's share price did drop, but only by two percent to $3.29 by the end of the day.
That could all change once the market has had time to digest the ACCC's announcement, so we'll keep our eyes on those share prices once the ASX opens for trading again at 10AM Thusrday morning.
As for TPG and Vodafone, a glance at LinkedIn reveals plenty of recently-former-employees. CRN understands that's because TPG has started to slim down jobs it feels will pass to Vodafone after the merger. So if it doesn't happen, TPG will be in quite a state!