Outdoor Media Operations Pty Ltd - proposed acquisition of EYE Corp Pty Ltd

Acquirer(s)

  • Outdoor Media Operations Pty Ltd

Target(s)

  • Eye Corp Pty Ltd

Market definition

Outdoor Media Operations Pty Ltd (OMO), through oOh!media, supplied out of home advertising services including retail, roadside billboard, mobile billboards, experiential, and promotional formats. oOh!media also supplies production and campaign management services. oOh!media supplies these services on a national basis.

EYE Corp Pty Ltd (EYE) supplied out of home advertising services including in the internal and external airport, retail, higher education and roadside billboard formats on a national basis.

Both OMO and EYE acquired out of home advertising sites from site owners nation-wide.

Accordingly, while recognising significant product and geographic differentiation between types of out of home advertising and site locations, the ACCC considered the proposed acquisition in the context of the following two markets:

Market 1: the national market for the supply of out of home advertising services; and
Market 2: the national market for the acquisition of out of home advertising sites.

The ACCC did not consider market definition to be determinative of the competitive assessment in this matter.

Competition analysis

Following market inquiries, the ACCC considered that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to result in substantial lessening of competition in any market. In reaching this view the ACCC had particular regard to the following factors:

Market 1 -

the presence of competitors including APN and JCDecaux as well as other suppliers with significant presences in market segments, and the absence of switching costs for advertisers;

barriers to entry and expansion, with the exception of roadside billboards and roadside street furniture, are relatively low. Also, market participants indicated that they could readily expand into new out of home advertising formats;

the market is growing, is highly dynamic and characterised by new innovations that are expanding out of home advertising opportunities, including digital formats and experiential advertising; and

coordinated effects are unlikely because the product ranges offered by the merged firm and APN Outdoor would be significantly differentiated, and because there is a lack of transparency in the market in relation to pricing or that would allow customer allocation.

Market 2 -

the presence of significant well-resourced competitors including APN and JCDecaux, and the absence of switching costs for site owners; and

some large site owners including shopping centres, large retail chains, state transit authorities and public councils have countervailing power based on their ability to sponsor new entry or expansion at the time of contract renewals. Also, some shopping centre owners have the ability to further integrate into internal supply of out of home advertising services.


Accordingly, on 18 September 2012, the ACCC decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition.

Timeline

DateEvent
27/07/2012ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
17/08/2012Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
17/08/2012ACCC requested further information from the merger parties. ACCC timeline suspended. Former proposed decision date of 13 September 2012 delayed pending receipt of information from the parties.
27/08/2012ACCC received further information from the merger parties. ACCC timeline recommenced.
18/09/2012ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.