Queensland Motorways Holding Pty Limited (QMH) - proposed acquisition of tollroad assets from the Brisbane City Council

Acquirer(s)

  • Queensland Motorways Holding Pty Limited (QMH)

Target(s)

  • Go-Between Bridge (GBB)<br/> Legacy Way tunnel

Summary

QMH proposed to acquire a fixed term concession providing the right to toll, operate and maintain the Go-Between Bridge and Legacy Way tunnel from the Brisbane City Council.

At the same time the ACCC also reviewed QMH's proposed acquisition of the tollroad assets of Rivercity Motorway Group (Rivercity), comprising the Clem Jones tunnel in Brisbane and the tolling business, Flow Tolling Pty Limited.

Market definition

The ACCC considered the proposed acquisition in the context of the following markets:

- the provision of electronic tolling services to motorists in Queensland; and

- the bidding market for tollroad construction and ownership in Australia.

Competition analysis

The ACCC considered that the proposed acquisition would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in any of the relevant markets.

The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to enable QMH to increase the tolls and associated charges it levies on motorists or reduce its level of service on its tollroad network, as it would be constrained by stringent franchise agreements between QMH and the Queensland Government.

The ACCC also considered the potential for QMH to raise rivals' costs for future tollroad construction and ownership opportunities through imposing higher roaming fees on rivals due to its increased electronic tag base. The ACCC noted the proposed acquisition would result in a small increase in QMH's electronic tag base and would be unlikely to give QMH the ability to impact the competitiveness of rival bids.

Timeline

DateEvent
08/08/2013ACCC commenced review under the Merger Process Guidelines.
23/08/2013Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
18/09/2013ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.