15 November 2019

ACCC sets no great store by incumbency power

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided not to oppose the merger between ANZ Terminals and GrainCorp Liquid Terminals, two providers of port-side bulk liquid storage services for base oils, chemicals and edible oils/fats in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, subject to divestments. An RBB team led by Patrick Smith, and assisted by Chris Whelan, Meltem Bayramli and Jackson McDonough produced a report that was submitted to the ACCC and participated in meetings with the ACCC. Despite the merger combining the two largest providers of non-fuel bulk liquid storage in the Port of Melbourne, the ACCC found that “a critical driver of competition was not incumbency, but the ability to expand and win contracts based on new tanks being built” according to commissioner Stephen Ridgeway. ANZT agreed to divest its Osborne facility in South Australia and not to lease any further land at Port of Melbourne without ACCC approval, and GrainCorp’s bulk liquid facility at Port Kembla in New South Wales was excluded from the transaction. RBB was instructed by Ashurst, solicitors acting for ANZ Terminals, and Gilbert + Tobin, solicitors acting for GrainCorp Liquid Terminals.

Our experience and expertise means our clients have the best chance of success before competition authorities and courts.

We have unrivalled experience across the full range of issues presented by competition law and related associated litigation.