The ACCC today commenced its formal consideration of ANZ Banking Group’s proposed acquisition of the banking arm of Suncorp.

The ACCC received the merger authorisation application on Friday 2 December.

The transaction will be reviewed in line with the ACCC’s merger authorisation process.

“Now that we have received the application, we are able to commence the formal process of considering the merger authorisation application, and will be seeking submissions from interested parties,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh.

The merger authorisation process provides an alternative to the informal merger review process. The informal merger review process used for the vast majority of merger matters that come before the ACCC.

The test for merger authorisation is that the ACCC must be satisfied that either the transaction will not be likely to substantially lessen competition, or that the public benefits outweigh the public detriments.

The parties have agreed to an extension to the statutory time limit of 90-days for assessing a merger authorisation application.

In line with this extension, the ACCC decision is scheduled for early June 2023.  

The merger authorisation guidelines set out the circumstances in which the ACCC is more likely to request an extension from applicants. These circumstances include when the issues relating to the merger are particularly complex or require extensive engagement, when the ACCC needs to obtain or review extensive material, or where the applicant proposes a remedy to address possible ACCC concerns.

ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb has disclosed a potential conflict of interest with this authorisation as a result of work performed prior to being appointed as Chair of the ACCC.

To manage this conflict, Ms Cass-Gottlieb will not participate in discussion of this authorisation or decision making for this authorisation.

The ACCC has rigorous processes for managing conflicts of interest, including a code of conduct for Commissioners which is published on our website. 

More information is available on the Public Register: ANZ proposed acquisition of Suncorp Bank