THE NEWS WRAP: ACCC blocks Macquarie Generation sale

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has blocked a $1.5 billion takeover of New South Wales government-owned power generator Macquarie Generation by AGL, citing market concentration concerns.

 

“The proposed acquisition would result in the largest source of generation capacity in NSW being owned by one of the three largest retailers in NSW,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims says.

 

“With this acquisition the three largest retailers in NSW would own a combined share of up to 80% of electricity generation capacity.

 

“This is likely to raise barriers to entry and expansion for other electricity retailers in NSW and therefore reduce competition.”

 

Building approvals jump nearly 7% in January

 

Building approvals have jumped by nearly 7% seasonally adjusted during January, a faster rate than many economists had expected, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 

Approvals for detached houses were up by 8.3%, while apartments and other dwellings were up 4.6%.

 

In another piece of good news, the ABS figures also show Australia’s current account deficit shrank by 19% to $10.1 billion during the December quarter, with increasing exports and declining imports.

 

Facebook looks to purchase drone aircraft maker

 

Facebook is gearing up for another major takeover, with TechCrunch reporting the company is planning to launch a $60 million takeover of Titan Aerospace.

 

Titan manufactures solar-powered near-orbital drones that can fly for up to five years continuously, with the social media giant reportedly interested in the aircraft in a bid to bring affordable internet access to 5 billion people worldwide who still lack connectivity.

 

The project is set to compete against Google’s Project Loon R&D program, which aims to use hot air balloons to provide connectivity to remote areas.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 16416.8. The Aussie dollar is up to US89.52 cents.

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