Australian Competition Watchdog Calls for Merger Law Reform

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The head of Australia's competition watchdog said a tribunal overturned its judgement to prohibit the ANZ Group purchase.
The head of Australia's competition watchdog said a tribunal overturned its judgement to prohibit the ANZ Group purchase.

The head of Australia’s competition watchdog said on Tuesday a tribunal overturning its decision to block ANZ Group’s A$4.9 billion ($3.2 billion) proposed buyout of Suncorp’s banking business showed the need for merger law reform in Australia.

Tribunal Decision Signals Urgent Need for Merger Law Reform:

On Tuesday, the Australian Competition Tribunal said ANZ, Australia’s fourth-largest bank by market capitalization, could buy Suncorp’s banking business despite the regulator blocking the deal in the middle of last year.

“It provides a basis for support for the merger reforms that we have proposed,” Australian Competition and Consumer Chairperson Gina Cass-Gottlieb told Reuters in an interview by telephone.

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Critical Markets Demand Fit-for-Purpose Merger Review Laws:

“Where there are concentrated markets and critical household- and business-facing markets, such as banking services, that are conducive to co-ordinated behaviors, we need to have fit-for-purpose merger review laws so we can make sure we don’t lose a competition or … can promote more competition.”

The ACCC has 28 days from Tuesday to lodge a judicial review, but Cass-Gottlieb said it was “too early to tell” if that would occur.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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