The Productivity Commission has recommended that Tabcorp's ownership of SkyChannel, the primary racing broadcaster, be investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. This, in conjunction with recommendations that Tabcorp's retail outlet monopoly be ceased and that NSW and Queensland racing authorities get off their high horse and negotiate product fees not based on turnover, which discriminates against competitors of the TABs, are major blows to Tabcorp.
Tabcorp on notice
The Productivity Commission recommended the Federal Government refer the ownership to the ACCC.
The commission found that the "vertical integration of Tabcorp's wagering and broadcast business has potentially serious implications for competition in the wagering market".
"As the capacity for punters to view racing is a key factor of production for wagering operators that compete with Tabcorp, this arrangement may frustrate competitive access to racing broadcasts," the report said.
"Were governments to allow bookmakers to establish a retail presence, Tabcorp's ownership of Sky Channel would become even more problematic."
The Productivity Commission noted that "fair and open competition is a fundamental principle of a market economy".
Consequently, the commission said Tabcorp's retail "exclusivity arrangements represents a rare privilege" and should not be renewed.
Whether of course the Federal Government takes any notice of the Productivity Commission is another matter. They might have other things to worry about at the moment, with a possible vote of no confidence in the current Prime Minister...
If you wish to read through the official document, here's the link.