The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has admitted to defeat.

This comes after the federal court dismissed the ACCC’s appeal against Justice Emmett’s decision on Metcash’s acquisition of the Franklins supermarket business.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the Commission has decided to not seek special leave to appeal to the high court.

The ACCC took action to block Metcash’s proposed acquisition of the Franklins supermarket business in fear that the acquisition would lessen the competition in the wholesale supply of packaged groceries to independent retailers in NSW and the ACT. The ACCC accepts that the federal court has ruled that this was not established on the evidence before the court. 

“The ACCC agrees that in relation to any acquisition, it must consider the likely effect on competition, based on commercially relevant facts, assessments and evidence and not speculative possibilities,” Sims said. 

In addition, the ACCC appealed the initial decision in order to clarify some of the principles relating to merger analysis.