Lochard’s acquisition of Heytesbury gas reservoirs not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose Lochard Energy’s proposed acquisition of the Heytesbury depleted gas reservoir assets from Origin Energy.

Lochard owns and operates the underground gas storage facility at Iona, near Port Campbell, which is currently the only underground gas storage facility in Victoria.

The Heytesbury assets are depleted gas reservoirs located near the Iona facility, which may have potential for underground gas storage development. Lochard is paying Origin a nominal amount for the assets.

ACCC will not oppose QANTM-Xenith merger

The ACCC will not oppose the proposed merger between QANTM Intellectual Property Limited (ASX: QIP) and Xenith IP Group Limited (ASX: XIP).

QANTM and Xenith are holding companies of intellectual property (IP) businesses and their merger would combine the second and third largest suppliers of IP services in Australia into one group.

The ACCC’s investigation focussed on competition in the supply of Australian IP services, such as patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.

Relief needed for manufacturers battling high gas prices

The high cost of gas poses an imminent threat to east coast manufacturers, making them internationally uncompetitive and increasing the likelihood they will wind up or relocate their operations, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a speech to the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference in Sydney today.

Mr Sims called on gas suppliers to immediately consider how they could avoid driving manufacturers and other domestic gas users out of the market.

The challenges and opportunities of premium markets in agriculture

Consumer trust should be a major focus for Australia’s agriculture sector as farmers increasingly target premium markets for their produce, ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh told the International Farm Management Association Congress in Tasmania today.

“Most of the growth in the total value of Australian agricultural output in recent decades has come from an increase in the average value of products, rather than an increase in the volume of output,” Mr Keogh said.

Interstate rail network access undertaking to continue

The Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) 2008 interstate rail network access undertaking has been revised to operate for another 12 months, in an ACCC decision announced today.

The revised variation also increases the notification period in which ARTC must inform the ACCC whether it will submit a replacement undertaking from three months to six months before the expiry date.

Bingo’s acquisition of Dial-a-Dump not opposed, subject to divestiture undertaking

The ACCC will not oppose Bingo’s (ASX: BIN) proposed acquisition of Dial-a-Dump after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from Bingo to divest its Banksmeadow processing facility.

Bingo and Dial-a-Dump both collect and process building and demolition (B&D) waste in Sydney. Dial-a-Dump also owns a large dry landfill at Eastern Creek and Bingo owns a site at Patons Lane which is expected to open as a dry landfill this year.  

Telco prices down and more data on offer, but continued scrutiny needed

Lower prices and growing data services are the key consumer benefits in the ACCC’s communications market report for 2017-18.

Data downloads over the year jumped 45 per cent on mobiles and 27 per cent for fixed line services. During the period prices for mobile phone services dropped by 8.3 per cent in real terms, while fixed broadband prices fell by 1.5 per cent.

Target and Baby Bunting pay penalties for selling unsafe convertible strollers

Following the issue of infringement notices by the ACCC, Target Australia Pty Ltd and Baby Bunting Pty Ltd have paid penalties totalling $37,800 and $25,200 respectively for selling and marketing unsafe convertible strollers, and have each entered into court enforceable undertakings.

The convertible strollers were marketed as safe to be used as strollers for transporting babies and young children, but did not comply with the mandatory safety standard for prams and strollers.