Commission grants clearance for Juice Technologies to acquire APT

The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Juice Technologies Pty Limited (operating in New Zealand as Infocare Systems Limited) to acquire APT Business Solutions Limited (trading as APT Childcare).

In reaching its decision, the Commission considered the possible impact of the proposed acquisition on competition in the national market for the supply of student management system software to providers of childcare for pre-school children.

Deputy Chair Sue Begg said the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.

“We considered whether the acquisition could reduce competition by enabling Infocare either to raise prices, reduce service quality or to coordinate with its competitors. We are satisfied that the presence of competitive alternative suppliers in the relevant market, including from a recent entrant, together with the potential for new entry, will likely constrain the ability of Infocare to raise prices or reduce service quality” Ms Begg said.

“We are also satisfied that with changes occurring in the market, coupled with the ability of customers to switch suppliers, will ensure that the merged firm is constrained from coordinating its behaviour with its competitors.”

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in the near future.

Background

Juice Technologies Pty Limited operates in New Zealand through its wholly owned subsidiary, Infocare Systems Limited. Infocare and APT both supply student management software to childcare providers, designed to assist with the administrative aspects of running a childcare centre.

The Commission will give clearance to a proposed merger if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

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