Commission reviews past merger decisions to assess competitive impacts

The Commerce Commission has released a report of its findings following a review of 13 merger applications assessed between 2014 and 2019.

Merger clearance decisions require a forward-looking assessment of the risk that competition will be substantially lessened. This review sought to determine whether specific aspects of a decision – such as the likelihood of new entry – had played out as expected, rather than whether specific decisions were correct or not.

Reviews of past merger decisions are undertaken by competition authorities around the world to identify meaningful lessons and insights, which can help to improve merger investigation efficiency and decisions.

The Commission administers a voluntary clearance regime for mergers and acquisitions but can also take enforcement action to prevent anti-competitive transactions from going ahead if prior clearance is not sought. Effective merger control contributes towards New Zealanders receiving the benefits of competition, including greater value, innovation, productivity and choice.

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