Wesfarmers and Catch acquisition gets the all clear

From the ACCC.

The ACCC has decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition of online retailer Catch Group by Wesfarmers. The regulator began a review of the proposed acquisition on June 14, 2019.

The review examined both physical and online retail competition, as well as whether there would be any potential impact on third-party marketplace sellers.

“We reviewed whether Wesfarmers’ retail position could be leveraged into online sales and marketplaces in an anti-competitive way,” ACCC commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said. “The current growth in online marketplaces is fostering competition between providers, and feedback indicated that Wesfarmers’ proposed acquisition of Catch would be unlikely to change that level of competition.”

Stakeholders have consistently told the ACCC that Catch and Wesfarmers are not close competitors, primarily due to the differences in their business models, he said.

Clearance from the ACCC was a condition precedent for the transaction and subject to the satisfaction of the remaining completion obligations, completion of the transaction is expected during August 2019.

Kmart and Target operate approximately 505 bricks and mortar stores throughout Australia, and both operate online stores while Catch is a privately owned Australian online retailer and marketplace that launched in 2017.

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