ACCC proposes date for AFG-Connective decision

by Madison Utley13 May 2020

The ACCC has announced the new proposed date for its decision regarding the AFG-Connective merger is set for 18 June 2020.

The original date was scheduled for 7 May, but was postponed following a request from AFG for more time in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Connective CEO Glenn Lees yesterday welcomed the updated timeline. 

“We are looking forward to the outcome of the decision and are confident we can satisfy the ACCC's requirements,” he said. 

“We believe the merged business will be in a unique position to offer brokers greater choice, and the benefits of improved efficiency in times of uncertainty."

News first broke that AFG and Connective were set to merge in a deal valued at $120m in August 2019. 

Many brokers were shocked by the announcement, which was confirmed by the ASX just ahead of official communications being sent to brokers.

Six months later, the ACCC voiced concerns that the proposed acquisition of Connective by AFG could stymie market competition in Australia.

“Combining AFG and Connective would create the largest mortgage aggregator in Australia by a significant margin, accounting for almost 40% of all mortgage brokers operating in Australia,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said in February 2020.

“The ACCC is concerned there will be limited similar alternatives for brokers to switch to. This may negatively impact the services offered to brokers.”

However, from the beginning, Connective has maintained there would be no "substantial lessening of competition" from the proposed merger.