The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its decision to not oppose the acquisition of Ruralco by Nutrien. The decision is subject to an undertaking requiring Nutrien to divest three rural merchandise stores in Broome (WA), Alice Springs (NT) and Hughenden (Qld), to an approved third party.

Nutrien owns Landmark and sought to acquire Ruralco. Both Landmark and Ruralco had a strong presence in rural merchandise retail and wholesale operations supplying both own stores and independent stores. The ACCC issued a Statement of Issues expressing some concerns with the proposed acquisition, as it would combine two of three major retail chains in the rural merchandise market. Frontier Economics was retained by lawyers for Nutrien to provide economic advice. We provided empirical analysis of competition in relevant markets. The ACCC decided that the merger was not likely to substantially lessen competition, as rival retailers and wholesalers will continue to provide competition.

Frontier Economics regularly advises clients on a range of competition matters.

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