The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Mainland Print to acquire the heatset and coldset web offset printing assets of Inkwise.

In considering Mainland’s application, the Commission focused on competition issues in the market for the supply of coldset printing services in the South Island and in the national market for the supply of heatset printing services.

Anna Rawlings, Commission chair, says the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.

She says, “We consider that the presence of a major competing supplier in each market with significant excess capacity is likely to constrain the ability of Mainland, and its shareholders, to raise prices, reduce service quality or foreclose downstream publishers,” Ms Rawlings said.

“In addition, we considered whether the acquisition could affect competition by enabling Mainland to coordinate with its competitors. However, we are satisfied on the evidence before us that the market is currently delivering competitive outcomes and that the proposed acquisition is not likely to substantially change that situation.”

The Commerce Commission says it will release a public version of the written reasons for the decision in the near future.

Inkwise, based in Rolleston and provides heatset printing services to magazine publishers and retail catalogue customers, and coldset printing services to newspaper publishers. Mainland, a recently established joint venture company, has two owners with equal shares: Blue Star Group New Zealand and South Island-based Allied Press.

The Commission will give clearance to a proposed merger if it is satisfied that it would be unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in any market in New Zealand. Can access further information explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application available on its website 

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