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NGC cleared to acquire AGL gas network

NGC cleared to acquire AGL gas network

Media Release

Issued 8 June 2001/70

Commission clears NGC to acquire AGL's Hutt Valley and Mana gas network

The Commerce Commission has cleared Natural Gas Corporation Holdings Ltd (NGC) to acquire the Hutt/Mana gas distribution network from its parent, AGL NZ Energy Ltd.

Commission Chair, John Belgrave said that the main markets considered by the Commission were the Hutt/Mana markets for the:

distribution of gas, and


* retailing of gas to residential consumers.

Mr Belgrave said that no aggregation of market shares arose from the transaction.

The Commission concluded that there was now strong competition between NGC and FreshStart in the retail market, and it anticipated that this competition would continue in the future.

The Commission also concluded that the acquisition would not affect the distribution market.

Public copies of the Commission's full decision will be available early next week.

Background

NGC made is application before the Commerce Act was amended. At that time the Act prohibited business acquisitions that resulted in dominance being acquired or strengthened in any market. All applications made before the amendment are being investigated using the dominance test.

The amendments, which came into force on May 26, prohibit business acquisitions that substantially lessen competition in a market. All applications made on or after May 26 will be investigated using the substantial lessening test.

ENDS



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