The ACCC provides a public competition assessment outlining the basis for reaching its final conclusion in an informal merger review where:
- a merger is rejected
- a merger is subject to enforceable s. 87B undertakings
- the merger parties seek such disclosure or
- a merger is approved but raises important issues that the ACCC considers should be made public.
Public competition assessments aim to provide the market with a better understanding of the ACCC's analysis of various markets and associated merger and competition issues. Assessments will also alert the market to the circumstances where the ACCC's assessment of the competitive conditions in particular markets is changing, or is likely to change, because of developments — for example — in technological change or previous mergers in those particular markets.
The ACCC will endeavour to publish public competition assessments on the website shortly after making a decision, recognising that more complex matters that raise significant competition issues may require more time to ensure the reasons are in a publishable form, taking into account any legal and commercial sensitivities.
The ACCC has put in place processes to protect confidential information provided either by the merger parties or information arising from market inquiries. This includes protecting the identity of market participants who provide sensitive market intelligence. The ACCC believes that in the majority of cases it will be possible to provide an appropriately detailed explanation of the basis for the ACCC reaching its finalised view while protecting confidential information and its sources. Where this is not possible, maintaining confidentiality will be the ACCC's paramount concern.
Public competition assessments are provided for informal merger reviews only. Determinations for applications for merger authorisation may be found on the ACCC's merger authorisations register.