Informal merger clearance process under scrutiny : Australian Gas Light Company v ACCC

Corones, Stephen G. (2004) Informal merger clearance process under scrutiny : Australian Gas Light Company v ACCC. Australian Business Law Review, 32(2), pp. 147-151.

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In the past, corporations have been reluctant to challenge the ACCC’s informal merger rulings in the Federal Court. There has been uncertainty about whether a declaration under s 163A of the Act was available in such circumstances and about how the court might apply the substantial lessening of competition test to mergers. Australian Gas Light (AGL) is the first corporation to challenge the ACCC’s informal ruling in the Federal Court. AGL sought a declaration that its acquisition of a 35% interest in Loy Yang Power (LYP), a major generator of electricity in Victoria, was not likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition, contrary to the informal ruling by the ACCC. French J was critical of the decision by the ACCC to object to the proposed acquisition without taking any formal injunction proceedings while at the same time threatening post-acquisition divestiture action. His Honour commented (at [612]): “it is difficult to see how, if the transaction were to proceed in the face of such a threat, the public interest would be served with such uncertainty hanging over the operation of a major public utility.”

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ID Code: 19132
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Mergers, Restrictive Trade Practices, Anti-competitive conduct
ISSN: 0310-1053
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Lawbook Company Limited
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2009 23:37
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:06

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