ACCC will not appeal AGL Tribunal decision

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided that it will not apply for judicial review of the decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal to grant conditional authorisation to AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) proposed acquisition of Macquarie Generation.

“While the ACCC was disappointed with the Tribunal’s decision, there is no avenue of appeal that would test the merits of the Tribunal’s decision,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Given that a judicial review process would only consider whether the Tribunal followed the correct procedure or acted within its powers, the ACCC did not consider that there was value in applying for such a review.”

The ACCC opposed the proposed acquisition by AGL because we considered that it was likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in the New South Wales retail electricity market.

The Tribunal was required to apply a different test, in which it had to be satisfied that the proposed acquisition would be likely to result in such benefit to the public that it should be allowed to occur. The Tribunal found that the benefits to the public of the proposed acquisition outweighed any detriment to competition.