Australia's competition watchdog the ACCC has given the proposed merger between Foxtel and Fox Sports the green light, explaining that it didn't believe the transaction would lessen competition in the acquisition of sports broadcasting rights.
As part of the merger, Foxtel and Fox Sports will be brought together "under a common ownership", with News Corp retaining 65% ownership of the entity.
Fox Sports is completely owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, while Telstra and News Corp now share a 50-50 ownership of Foxtel.
Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh says the merger between Foxtel and Fox Sports will help the two businesses better align strategically to help the pay TV company grow its sports coverage.
"The ACCC won't oppose this merger after finding that the commercial incentives of Foxtel, Fox Sports, News, and Telstra will not be substantially altered".
Sims says the ACCC considered how the merger would affect a number of different markets and took into account feedback from a range of market participants in reaching its decision.
The ACCC also considered the merger's effects - and related agreements - on the "supply of triple play bundles of voice, broadband, and audio visual content" from broadband and mobile providers. "Also, generally, where triple play bundles are offered consumers still have to pay to acquire premium packages and there are alternative sources of content for other telecommunications suppliers wanting to offer triple play bundles", Mr Sims said.
Customers signing up for Telstra's AU$99 Go Mobile Plus and Go Mobile Swap Lease plans prior to December 25 will be given a 12-month subscription for one Foxtel Now starter pack, as well as 20GB of data per month.
The five packs to choose from are Pop, which includes entertainment, comedy, drama, and reality TV, as well as HBO dramas and Foxtel Originals; Drama, which includes BBC, HBO, and Foxtel Originals content; Docos, which includes the Discovery, Nat Geo, BBC, Crime and Investigation, and History content; Kids channels in a "safe" app; and Lifestyle, which includes content from food, homes, entertainment, and reality TV channels.