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Media Release: New BAG

Media Release

Issued 9 November 2000/112

Commission wants business involvement in proposed changes to business acquisition thresholds

The Commerce Commission wants the business community's ideas on how the Commission should consider business acquisitions under the proposed new threshold the Government has foreshadowed in its proposed amendments to the Commerce Act.

Currently the Act prohibits business acquisitions that result in dominance being acquired or strengthened in any market. The Government proposes to amend the Act to prohibit business acquisitions that substantially lessen competition.

Commission Chair John Belgrave stressed that the Commission's discussion document seeks comment on how the Commission should change its approach to considering the impact of mergers-it is not seeking comment on what amendments the Government should make.

"We are distributing copies of our discussion document to business people, lawyers, economists, business advisors, academics and government organisations. We want their feedback by December 1 as we understand the Commerce Select Committee is scheduled to report back to Parliament by then.

"We will release a draft of an amended Business Acquisitions Guidelines after the Select Committee reports back so that everyone will have a clear understanding of how we intend to apply the amended Act. If time permits, we will also seek comments on that draft before the legislation comes into force."

Copies of the Commission's discussion document, which was published as the November issue of Compliance, and of the Business Acquisitions Guidelines currently used, are available from the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz, and from reception at its Wellington office, level 7 Landcorp House, 101 Lambton Quay.

Media contact: Commerce Act Manager Geoff Thorn Phone work (04) 498 0958, cellphone 021 661 104

Senior Advisor Communications Vincent Cholewa Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 473 3827

Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site www.comcom.govt.nz

Regards Leo van Schyndel Records Officer Corporate Services Direct dial : (04) 498-0929 E-mail : leo.vanschyndel@comcom.govt.nz


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