The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has concluded its investigation into the offshore acquisition of Pacific Direct Line which includes its subsidiary, Williams & Gosling by Pacific Neptune Lines (UK) Limited (PNL). This assessment was carried out as a result of a voluntary notification by PNL.
“The shipping market is very important to Fiji and the reason why FCCC left no stone unturned when carrying out the merger assessment. In the course of our assessment, we became concerned about the possible effects of combining the merging parties’ shipping and agency businesses.
We had concerns that this had the potential to adversely impact consumer choice, or hinder competition in freight forwarding markets”, said FCCC CEO Joel Abraham.
“We developed a thorough set of undertakings which, we are
satisfied, address the competition concerns that were identified.”
To address these concerns, the FCCC has required PNL to implement strict ring-fencing arrangements within and between their agency businesses, including controls on the use of confidential information provided to the agency businesses by shipping lines.
This system is to be monitored by an independent auditor, who will report to the FCCC. A rigorous marketmonitoring regime will also be implemented by the FCCC to protect competition in this market.
The FCCC carried out its review in close collaboration with our international counterparts, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the New Zealand Commerce Commission.
Meetings were held in Sydney and Wellington as part of a process of cooperation and rigorous mutual peer-review of work on this case, which was also discussed with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
The FCCC is an independent statutory authority whose role is to enforce the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010, promote competition, promote fair trade, regulate prices in markets where competition is lessened or limited, and regulate monopolistic market situations including national infrastructure for the benefit of all Fijians.