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The competition regulator will appeal a controversial federal court decision governing access to Queensland's rail network, saying it placed too much faith in undertakings by the companies involved.
In May, the federal court waved through Aurizon's sale of its Acacia Ridge Terminal in Brisbane to National Pacific for $205 million, overruling opposition from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Aurizon will defend the original decision.CREDIT:GLENN HUNT
A key plank of that decision was an undertaking from Pacific National governing how competitors could get access to the terminal that the company offered on the final day of the proceedings.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the regulator would argue the court erred by accepting the undertaking and then using that to determine the question of the deal's competitive impact.
“This appeal is crucial to Australia's merger regime because acceptance of undertakings of this kind by the Court means that anti-competitive mergers could be approved, and this has the potential to damage the Australian economy,” Mr Sims said.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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