If the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition will not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantial lessening of competition in a market, the Commission will grant clearance for the acquisition.
The Commission has a standard application form (PDF) for authorisations. The form contains information about the application procedure and cost, and when completed, will provide the Commission with critical information to inform its analysis. Once the completed form is received with payment, the Commission then commences an investigative process including research and interviews with competitors, customers, suppliers and interested parties to the proposed acquisition, and undertakes legal and economic analysis.
The Commission will issue a draft determination outlining its initial view of the authorisation application and seeking submissions from interested parties. Following the draft determination, the Commission will usually conduct a conference where interested parties are invited to present to the Commission. The Commission will then complete its analysis and issue a final determination.
If the Commission cannot be satisfied that the public benefit directly attributable to the proposed acquisition outweighs any detriment, it must decline to grant an authorisation. If the Commission declines to grant an authorisation, parties have the right to appeal the Commission's decision to the High Court.
The Act specifies that the Commission should reach a decision on an authorisation within 60 working days of its receipt, or a longer period as agreed with the applicant. The actual timeframe is highly variable, dependent on the complexity of the authorisation in question and the Commission's workload.
The Commission aims to make decisions on straightforward authorisation applications as quickly as possible. Applications for streamlined authorisation must meet certain criteria. The Streamlined Authorisation Guidelines set out a streamlined process for such applications.
The Mergers and Acquisitions Authorisations Register contains a full list of all applications for authorisation received by the Commission, along with the Commission's determinations.
The Commission appreciates advance notice of authorisation applications. If you intend to apply for authorisation, please contact the Commerce Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Commission publishes guidelines to help businesses understand the authorisation process. Guidelines provide in-depth information about rules and practices relating to authorisations.
Update: The Commission is currently consulting on draft Authorisation Guidelines which include the Benefits and Detriments Guidelines. More information about the consultation can be found on the Authorisation Guidelines page.
The authorisations guidelines include:
The development of new guidelines for the analysis of public benefits and detriments has been put on hold.
These guidelines set out a streamlined process that will enable the Commission to make a decision on straightforward authorisation applications as quickly as possible.
This guidance clarifies the costs implications for parties who take legal action to challenge a determination issued by the Commission.