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Gumtree’s expansion plans motor on after Carsguide/Autotrader acquisition given green light by ACCC 14.05.20

On 30 April 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”) authorised unconditionally the acquisition by Gumtree of Cox Media in Australia. The ACCC’s assessment focussed on the acquisition’s effect in the market for the supply of online motor classified ads in Australia, where both Gumtree and Cox Media (through its Autotrader and Carsguide websites) are present. RBB assisted with the authorisation application, including providing a standalone economic report that assessed the likely competitive effects and public benefits of the acquisition. RBB was instructed by Gilbert + Tobin, acting for Gumtree.

This represents only the second time that the ACCC has decided an authorisation case after the new merger authorisation process was introduced in November 2017. Its first such decision was its conditional authorisation on 25 July 2019 of the acquisition by AP Eagers, Australia’s second-largest car dealership group, of Automotive Holdings Group, Australia’s largest car dealership group. RBB, instructed by Allens, AP Eagers’ solicitors, also advised on that case.