Commission Releases Progressive/Woolworths Decision
The Commerce Commission has released the public copy of its decision to clear Progressive Enterprises Limited to acquire Woolworths (New Zealand) Limited, subject to divestment of supermarkets in Birkenhead and Te Awamutu.
The decision is available from the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz, and can be down loaded to your computer.
The decision was made on July 13.
Progressive's application was one of 11 the Commission had on hand when amendments to the Commerce Act took effect on May 26. All 11 of those decisions have since been made.
Before the amendments, the Act prohibited business acquisitions that resulted in dominance being acquired or strengthened in a market. The amended Act prohibits acquisitions that substantially lessen competition (SLC) in a market.
The Commission took the view that applications should be investigated under the law as it was when the applications were made. That is, the dominance test would apply to applications made before May 26, and SLC test would apply to those made on May 26 or later.
Foodstuffs (Auckland) Limited challenged this view, arguing that the SLC test applied to applications on hand at May 26. The Auckland High Court upheld the Commission's view.
Foodstuffs has appealed the High Court decision, and the appeal will be heard in the Court of Appeal on August 13.