International law firm Ashurst has successfully represented AGL Energy Limited in a landmark decision yesterday by the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) to grant merger authorisation for AGL's proposed acquisition of Macquarie Generation.
The acquisition of Macquarie Generation had initially been rejected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) due to competition concerns, leading AGL to seek merger authorisation from the tribunal.
Significantly, this was the first time it has made a decision under this regime since it was introduced by the then Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, in 2007.
Ashurst partner on the matter, competition specialist Liza Carver, says the event is ground breaking in regards to competition law in Australia, and she is proud to have been able to assist AGL in delivering the outcome.
"The Tribunal applies a net public benefit test and found that AGL's acquisition of Macquarie Generation would lead to significant public benefits, while rejecting the ACCC's theories of anti-competitive outcomes from the merger,” she says. "The decision demonstrates that the Tribunal can be a real and timely alternative to seeking informal merger clearance from the ACCC. The Tribunal heard and determined the case in just three months."