Melbourne International RoRo & Auto Terminal Pty Ltd - s.87B undertaking

Company or individual details

  • Melbourne International RoRo & Auto Terminal Pty Ltd
    163 814 364

Undertaking

On 27 March 2014 the ACCC announced it had accepted an undertaking (the Undertaking) from Melbourne International RoRo & Auto Terminal Pty Ltd (MIRRAT) in relation to its proposed acquisition of a long term lease to operate the Webb Dock West automotive terminal at the Port of Melbourne which at the time was under the control of the Port of Melbourne Corporation (the Proposed Acquisition).

The Undertaking seeks to address the ACCC’s competition concerns should MIRRAT be successful in its bid to redevelop the automotive terminal at Webb Dock West, and operate the terminal on an open access basis until 30 June 2040.

The ACCC concluded that in the absence of the Undertaking, the Proposed Acquisition would:

  1. allow MIRRAT to use its position as a vertically integrated operator of the sole automotive terminal at the Port of Melbourne to discriminate against rival automotive shipping lines and other terminal users that MIRRAT may compete with in future, and to provide preferential treatment to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) (its ultimate parent company, which operates an ocean shipping business which provides services at the Port of Melbourne) to the detriment of other shipping companies, including through shipping schedules, berthing allocations and the provision of ancillary services;
  2. provide MIRRAT access to:
    1. rival shipping companies' commercially sensitive information which MIRRAT may be able to use to the advantage of WWL; and
    2. other terminal users' commercially sensitive information, which may raise concerns should MIRRAT or its related bodies corporate commence providing terminal services in the downstream market in the future
  3. enable MIRRAT to  begin supplying other terminal services and discriminate against competitors in these other downstream markets and potentially use its ability to raise the cost to its rivals of terminal access to disadvantage its rivals, making it more difficult for them to compete in the supply of shipping and other terminal services.

Given the Undertaking is expected to be in place until 30 June 2040, the ACCC was concerned to ensure that the Undertaking continues to meet its objectives throughout its entire term.

The objective of the Undertaking is to address the ACCC's competition concerns which would otherwise arise as a consequence of the Proposed Acquisition by:

  1. requiring MIRRAT not to discriminate between terminal users in favour of a related body corporate, or engage in conduct for the purposes of preventing or hindering access services to terminal users or prospective terminal users.  To ensure that MIRRAT does not discriminate in this way, MIRRAT must:
    1. comply with the Open Access Conditions set out in Schedule 1 of the Undertaking; and
    2. comply with the Berthing Allocation Rules set out in Schedule 4 of the Undertaking, under which MIRRAT must not discriminate between shipping lines in favour of its related bodies corporate, or engage in conduct for the purpose of preventing or hindering access to the terminal by any shipping line in the exercise of a right of access to the terminal.
  2. requiring MIRRAT to ring fence confidential information of terminal users, and maintain controls to ensure that confidential information is not disclosed to unauthorised personnel, which includes related bodies corporate of MIRRAT;
  3. requiring MIRRAT to comply with the Price Dispute Resolution Process set out in Schedule 6 of the Undertaking, which includes the appointment of an ACCC approved independent price expert, and the Non-Price Dispute Resolution Process set out in Schedule 7 of the Undertaking;
  4. providing for the effective oversight of MIRRAT’s compliance with the Undertaking, including an obligation which requires MIRRAT to provide for a compliance audit by an ACCC approved independent auditor at the request of a terminal user at any time; and
  5. providing for the ACCC to conduct reviews of the Undertaking at certain intervals to ensure that the Undertaking continues to meet its objectives.

The Undertaking commenced on 1 January 2018.

2020 Waiver Request

On 7 May 2020 the ACCC consented to a waiver requested by MIRRAT to extend the date by which it is required to publish its proposed 2020 Reference Tariffs to 30 June 2020.

Approved Independent Price Expert for 2021-22 Financial Year

On 22 March 2021, the ACCC approved Dr John Fallon of Economic Insights as Approved Independent Price Expert under the MIRRAT undertaking for the forthcoming financial year. Economic Insights is also involved in an unrelated ongoing project assisting the AER.