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Austar one step closer to Foxtel

While Foxtel battles parent piracy claims

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Austar shareholders have green lit the proposed merger with Foxtel despite the swirling piracy allegations against Foxtel’s majority stakeholder News Corporation and its former subsidiary NDS.

Fairfax Media has been reporting allegations that in the 1990’s News Corp subsidiary NDS performed a litany of anti-competitive tactics including facilitating PayTV piracy via accessing customers smartcards and distributing codes on the black market and obtaining telephone records illegally.

Foxtel has said there are no allegations of wrongdoing against it. Austar CEO John Porter said the allegations are not relevant to Foxtel's proposed $2 billion takeover of his company. Porter told shareholders at a meeting on Friday that the accusations made by the Australian Financial Review newspaper and the BBC are "farcical".

The transaction remains subject to approval by the ACCC and by the Federal Court.

Foxtel ’s freshly installed CEO Richard Freudenstein said that Foxtel continued to work constructively with the ACCC in relation to the proposed merger and the related undertakings that Foxtel has offered to the ACCC in order to expedite completion of the transaction.

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