It's not like they compete now... rather the country is divided into Austar areas and Foxtel areas without any overlap between the two.
I once rang Foxtel because they were advertising a better deal than Austar was providing, however I was told they "didn't cover my area". When I queried how they could possibly cover one suburb via Satelite, but couldn't cover the adjoining suburb via Satelite, I was told that my suburb was an "Austar" area and they were prevented from providing services in my area.
This is apparently approved by the ACCC, but merging the companies isn't?!?!
Not that I'm suggesting the merger is a good idea... rather these two companies should be force to compete on the basis of their products, instead of relying on protected markets. We might actually get some better products than the current rubbish they both offer.