ANZ’s Suncorp takeover to go ahead despite ACCC rebuff

ANZ has had the greenlight to take over Suncorp despite earlier competition concerns.

ANZ has had the greenlight to take over Suncorp despite earlier competition concerns. Photo: AAP

ANZ has had a massive legal win on appeal after its proposed $4.9 billion acquisition of Suncorp’s banking arm has been given the go-ahead.

The Australian Competition Tribunal on Tuesday set aside an August decision by the competition watchdog declining to authorise the acquisition.

“The tribunal is satisfied that the proposed acquisition represents a net public benefit,” deputy president Justice John Halley said.

The takeover was initially rejected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Watchdog in 2023 after it raised concerns about the market dominance of the big four banks.

ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh warned at the time that a lessening of competition in these markets would cause consumers to get a worse deal.

“These banking markets are critical for many home-owners and for Queensland businesses and farmers in particular,” he said.

After the proposal was rejected, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott expressed his disappointment, saying the acquisition would improve competition and benefit consumers.

“All of the relevant markets are intensely competitive and will continue to be intensely competitive after the acquisition,” he said.

The tribunal has overturned decisions by the ACCC, including the 2019 merger of Vodafone Hutchison and TPG Telecom.

But it backed the regulator in June regarding its decision to block a spectrum-sharing arrangement between TPG and Telstra.


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