Australia Pacific Airports Corporation - proposed acquisitions of Cairns and Mackay Airports

Acquirer(s)

  • Australia Pacific Airports Corporation

Target(s)

  • Cairns and Mackay Airports

Summary

Australia Pacific Airports Corporation Limited (APAC) proposes to acquire either or both of Cairns and Mackay airports from the Queensland Government.

Market definition

For the purposes of this competition assessment, the ACCC considered the proposed acquisitions in the context of the market for the supply of airport services in mid-north Queensland.

The ACCC did not consider it necessary to form a definitive view on the geographic scope of the market. The ACCC is of the view that were a broader geographic market definition taken, the competition assessment would not have been impacted.

Competition analysis

On 12 November the ACCC formed the view that the proposed acquisitions would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant market. Factors informing this decision included that in the event of the acquisition of both airports, the acquisition was unlikely to change the competitive dynamic that existed in the mid-north Queensland region pre-acquisition because both airports were ultimately owned by the same owner, the Queensland Government, and APAC did not own any other airports in the relevant market. In the event of the acquisition of only one of the airports, competitors would exist in the market who would continue to provide an effective competitive constraint.

Although APAC also owned Melbourne and Launceston airports, the ACCC considered that the location of these airports meant that they were unlikely to have an impact on the competitive dynamic existing in the mid-north Queensland market.

Timeline

DateEvent
24/10/2008ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
03/11/2008Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
12/11/2008ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisitions.