ACCC to block Trading Post acquisition by Carsales: Midday roundup

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is opposing the proposed acquisition of the Trading Post by

The competition regulator said both CarSales and the Trading Post supply online merchandise and classifieds advertising – but the complaint only relates to the automobile sector.

“The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition through the removal of a close and effective competitor of Carsales,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“The proposed acquisition would have reduced the choice for advertisers by removing a significant competitor with an offer that is attractive to dealers and private advertisers, differing in important ways from the Carsales offer.”

Sims said in the statement the ACCC believes the proposed acquisition would “increase the already high barriers to entry” for the supply of automotive classifieds advertising.

ACCC backs alliance between Qantas, Emirates

The ACCC has backed an alliance between airlines Qantas and Emirates, saying the deal would benefit consumers, although it has included some restrictions on the deal.

While chairman Rod Sims approved the move, he said the deal would have a detrimental effect on competition in some areas, particularly where the two companies operate in the same region – and said it would propose restrictions in those areas.

“In most of these regions, there are factors which are likely to mitigate the public detriment, including continuing competition from a number of established airlines.”

“However, on the overlapping routes between Australia and New Zealand, the ACCC is concerned that the alliance may have an increased ability and incentive to reduce or limit growth in its capacity in order to raise airfares.

“Therefore, the ACCC is proposing a condition to restrict the ability of the alliance in this regard.”

Oz Minerals profit to fall 15%

Oz Minerals has forecast a 15% decline in full year profit, in response to a query from the Australian Securities Exchange.

In a statement today, Oz Minerals said it was aware analysts are updating their modelling.

“In light of the lower commodity prices and reduced gold sales, coupled with reduced copper production and increased costs as the operations have progressed during the year, the expected operating result for the full year ending 31 December 2012 will be less than that of the corresponding previous period by more than 15 per cent,” the statement said.

Shares flat after weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket hopened flat this morning, following a weak lead from the United States where ongoing fiscal cliff discussions continue.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 2.5 points or 0% to 4,620.3, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 99 points or 0.7% to 13,252.



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