The ACCC has decided not to oppose the proposed acquisition of online retailer Catch Group by Wesfarmers (ASX:WES).
Wesfarmers, through its Kmart and Target stores, and Catch both retail a variety of products to consumers, ranging from clothing and general merchandise to homewares and electronics.
Catch offers out-of-season, clearance or overrun branded products, as well as operating a growing online marketplace through which third-party sellers supply products.
The ACCC’s review of the proposed acquisition examined both physical and online retail competition, as well as whether there would be any potential impact on third-party marketplace sellers.
“We reviewed whether Wesfarmers’ retail position could be leveraged into online sales and marketplaces in an anti-competitive way,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.
“The current growth in online marketplaces is fostering competition between providers, and feedback indicated that Wesfarmers’ proposed acquisition of Catch would be unlikely to change that level of competition.”
“Stakeholders also consistently told us that Catch and Wesfarmers are not close competitors, primarily due to the differences in their business models,” Mr Ridgeway said.
Further information is on the ACCC’s public register at Wesfarmers Limited proposed acquisition of Catch Group Holdings Limited
The ACCC commenced a review of the proposed acquisition on 14 June 2019.
Kmart and Target operate approximately 505 bricks and mortar stores throughout Australia, and both operate online stores.
Catch is a privately owned Australian online retailer and marketplace. Catch’s online marketplace launched in 2017.