Woolworths get tick from ACCC on MyDeal buy

Supermarket giant Woolworths Group has gained the tick of approval from the competition regulator on its planned acquisition of online marketplace retailer MyDeal.

Woolworths, through its 176 bricks and mortar Big W stores and supermarkets, and MyDeal, through its online marketplace, sell a variety of general merchandise including furniture, health and beauty products, homewares and electronics.

In addition to retailing their own products, Woolworths and MyDeal also operate online marketplaces where third-party sellers sell their wares online.

Last September, Woolworths launched its marketplace platform Everyday Market, which offers a range of goods from baby items to electronics.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) reviewed online competition between third-party marketplace platforms after Woolworths flagged it planned to acquire 80.16 per cent of ASX-listed MyDeal.com.au in May in a deal valuing the company at $243 million.

ACCC found that Woolworths and MyDeal are not particularly close competitors since Woolworths’ business is predominantly focused on retailing its own products.

“Following our review and feedback from market participants, we do not consider that Everyday Market from Woolworths is a significant competitor to MyDeal or other online marketplaces and consequently, this acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said on Friday.

The ACCC also found it was unlikely that Woolworths’ retail position could be leveraged into MyDeal’s online sales marketplace in an anti-competitive way.

“Woolworths would continue to face significant competition from online marketplace platforms available to third-party sellers,” Ms Carver said.

There has been significant growth and new entry into online marketplaces over the past few years in Australia, including by Kogan.com.au and US giant Amazon.


Extracted from AFR

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