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ACCC not to Intervene in Proposed Acquisition of Aussie Grocer Foodland

QUEENSLAND, Australia -- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel said today that the commission will not oppose Metcash Trading Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of Foodland Associated Ltd. (FAL)

Metcash is Australia's largest independent grocery and liquor wholesaler and distributor, operating in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT. It said it controls the IGA brand on the continent licenses it to independent store operators.

FAL operates 81 Action Supermarkets in Western Australia, Queensland, and northern New South Wales. It is also wholesaler to all Western Australian independent supermarket operators, including its own franchise banner groups Dewsons, Supa Valu, Foodland, and Four Square.

Samuel said the proposed acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the supermarket industry at the retail level, since there is only a limited geographical overlap (in Queensland and Northern New South Wales), and in those areas where the overlap occurs there will be continued strong competition from the other market participants. At the wholesale level there is virtually no overlap, as Metcash does not operate in Western Australia, which is the only state in which FAL operates as a wholesaler and distributor servicing independent supermarkets.
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