Significant challenges facing competition law and policy need to be confronted and solved if our market economy is to work for all Australians, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said today. Innovation, productivity and the welfare of Australians depends on there being an adequate level of competition.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims spoke at this year’s Annual Competition Law & Economics Workshop, hosted by UniSA and the ACCC, where he discussed significant challenges facing competition law and policy in Australia.
The ACCC has filed proceedings in the Federal Court seeking an urgent injunction to stop the proposed completion of Virtus Health’s acquisition of Adora Fertility from Healius Limited.
Virtus and Adora are leading providers of IVF services. Both companies operate fertility clinics in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Nuance Inc. by Microsoft Corporation.
Nuance supplies speech recognition and transcription software primarily to the healthcare market, as well as customer engagement software that enables businesses to automate their customer service interactions.
“Microsoft and Nuance do not directly compete in healthcare transcription software,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.
The ACCC will conduct an investigation into potential competition issues arising from Qube’s (ASX: QUB) completed acquisition of the Newcastle Agri Terminal. As the investigation relates to a completed acquisition it will be conducted on an enforcement basis.
Qube notified the ACCC on 8 September 2021 and then completed the transaction on 30 September, despite requests from the ACCC to delay completion of the transaction after competition concerns were raised by market participants.
The ACCC will not oppose the proposed acquisition of specialist tile retailer Beaumont Tiles by Bunnings, finding that the transaction is not likely to substantially lessen competition.
“At first glance, Bunnings taking over a major tile retailer appears concerning, but our investigation found that Bunnings is not a strong competitor in tile sales. This is not a case of a close competitor buying up its rival,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
The ACCC has outlined its preliminary competition concerns about JBS Australia Pty Ltd’s (JBS) proposed acquisition of Rivalea Holdings Pty Ltd and Oxdale Dairy Enterprise Pty Ltd (together, Rivalea) in a statement of issues published today.
JBS is Australia’s largest meat and food processing company. Rivalea farms and processes pigs. If the acquisition proceeds, JBS will have a significant presence in pig farming, export accredited pig abattoirs, and smallgoods through its Primo brand.
The ACCC has preliminary competition concerns with Turnitin’s proposed acquisition of Ouriginal.
Turnitin and Ouriginal are international providers of anti-plagiarism software, primarily overlapping in the supply of this software to higher education customers, such as universities. They make up two of only three anti-plagiarism software providers to Australian universities.
The ACCC has authorised the proposed merger of BPAY Group Holding Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries (together, BPAY), eftpos Payments Australia Ltd (eftpos) and NPP Australia Ltd (NPPA), after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking offered by the parties.
BPAY, eftpos and NPPA each provide payment services to consumers and businesses through their respective payment systems, BPAY, eftpos and the New Payments Platform.
The ACCC is seeking views on a court enforceable undertaking which has been offered by Industry Committee Administration Pty Ltd (ICA), the company representing three Australian payment services providers seeking to merge.