The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of All Homes Pty Limited by Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ).
Fairfax and All Homes both operate online residential listings businesses in Australia through their websites domain.com.au and allhomes.com.au respectively. Fairfax also owns the only daily newspaper in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the Canberra Times.
“The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition was not likely to substantially lessen competition in markets for online or print real estate advertising in the ACT,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.
“Market inquiries indicated that aggregating Fairfax’s print and online assets with All Homes was unlikely to change the current competitive dynamics. This is due to the dominant position of All Homes in the ACT and the decrease in circulation of the Canberra Times.”
The ACCC noted that in comparison to its presence in other states, Domain was a weak competitor in the ACT and its market position was unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. The ACCC also noted that All Homes’ presence was limited in other Australian states.
The ACCC analysed confidential agreements between All Homes and real estate agents and determined there would be no restrictions following the proposed acquisition that would prevent real estate agents listing on a range of competing websites, including realestate.com.au.
“During the course of its investigation, the ACCC contacted a large number of real estate agents and other market participants, with the vast majority considering that the proposed acquisition would have little material impact on competition for real estate advertising in the ACT,” Dr Walker said.
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