ACCC commences ANZ-Suncorp merger authorisation review

The ACCC chair will not participate in the discussion or decision-making due to a potential conflict of interest

ACCC commences ANZ-Suncorp merger authorisation review


By Mina Martin

The ACCC has commenced its formal consideration of ANZ Banking Group’s proposed acquisition of Suncorp’s banking arm, after it received the merger authorisation application on Dec. 2.

In July, ANZ announced that it agreed to acquire Suncorp Bank from Suncorp Group for $4.9 billion, to accelerate the growth of its retail and commercial businesses and improve the geographic balance of its business in Australia.

“Now that we have received the application, we are able to commence the formal process of considering the merger authorisation application, and will be seeking submissions from interested parties,” said Mick Keogh, ACCC deputy chair.

The transaction will be reviewed in line with the ACCC’s merger authorisation process to find out whether the transaction will substantially lessen competition, or whether the public benefits outweigh the public detriments.

The merger authorisation application will be assessed for a statutory time limit of 90 days, as agreed upon by the parties, with the ACCC decision to be released in early June 2023.

ACCC said the merger authorisation guidelines set out the circumstances in which it was more likely to request an extension from the applicants, including when the issues relating to the merger are particularly complex or require extensive engagement, when the ACCC needs to obtain or review extensive material, or where the applicant proposes a remedy to address possible ACCC concerns.

ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb will not take part in discussion of or decision-making for the authorisation, to manage a potential conflict of interest, as a result of work performed prior to being appointed as ACCC chair.

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