Major Australian lenders get green light on purchase
The Australian Competition and Consumer Council has announced it will not oppose six large financial institutions each taking a share in a new credit reporting agency.
ANZ, CBA, Citigroup, GE Capital, NAB and Westpac will each take a four per cent share each in Experian Australia Credit Services.
Experian Australia Credit Services is a proposed joint venture between the financial institutions and Experian Group, a London based global provider of credit reporting services, which will have a 76 per cent shareholding. The financial institutions that will have minority interests in the proposed joint venture are currently the largest purchasers of credit reporting services and are important providers of a key input, credit information, to Australian credit reporting agencies.
"Following an extensive public review, the ACCC formed the view that the proposed joint venture would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any of the markets examined," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
The ACCC's investigation focused on whether the financial institutions would have the incentive to restrict the supply of credit information and customers to incumbent credit reporting agencies and in doing so negatively effect the competitive position of these agencies.
The ACCC also examined whether the financial institutions could leverage their position in the joint venture to discriminate against rival lenders.