Vossloh Australia Pty Ltd - proposed acquisition of Austrak Pty Ltd

Acquirer(s)

  • Vossloh Australia Pty Ltd

Target(s)

  • Austrak Pty Ltd

Market definition

The ACCC focused on the supply of concrete sleepers and bearers in Australia, as well as the downstream markets for the supply of rail turnouts and fastening components in Australia.

The ACCC also considered the possibility that there may be state-based or regional markets for the supply of concrete sleepers and concrete bearers.

Competition analysis

The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any relevant market.

There is no direct horizontal overlap between the parties, so the focus was on vertical issues.

The ACCC considered whether the proposed acquisition could enable the combined Vossloh-Austrak to lessen competition in either turnouts or fastenings by foreclosing its rivals.

In relation to fastening components, feedback from industry participants indicated that there is a strong, near-monopoly supplier, which has type approval for use in most rail tracks, and is likely to continue to constrain Vossloh post-acquisition.

In the turnouts market, the ACCC concluded that it was unlikely Vossloh would have the incentive or ability to effectively foreclose its turnout competitors. There is evidence that turnout competitors have alternatives to Austrak for the supply of bearers, and the ACCC noted that existing alternative suppliers of bearers have the ability to expand their offerings, including by increasing production or expanding their geographic presence.

The ACCC also considered concerns raised about the disclosure of confidential turnout and fastening information to the combined Vossloh-Austrak, but considered that those concerns could be addressed contractually and would not result in a substantial lessening of competition.

Timeline

DateEvent
26/09/2018ACCC commenced review under the Merger Process Guidelines.
15/10/2018Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
13/11/2018Former proposed decision date of 29 November 2018 brought forward.
15/11/2018ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.