All bottled up – ACCC clears further packaging merger
On 21 March 2012, the ACCC announced that it would not oppose the proposed acquisition by Visy of the PET and plastic assets of HP. The ACCC formed the view that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any of the relevant markets for the manufacture and supply of:
- PET containers (including PET jars, containers and bottles);
- non-PET rigid plastic containers; or
- small industrial plastic containers in both NSW and Victoria.
The ACCC considered that while the acquisition would result in the removal of a significant competitor in the manufacture and supply of PET containers in NSW and Victoria, the merger would be constrained by:
- the existence of several alternative manufacturers and suppliers; and
- the countervailing power held by many customers who would be able to bypass the merged firm by either sponsoring the expansion of smaller manufacturers or commencing in-house PET container production.