The ACCC Expresses Concerns Over Bunnings’ Acquisition

Power Retail By Power Retail | 14 Feb 2020

Bunnings Warehouse is expected to acquire Adelaide Tools and Oaklands Mower Centre – the ACCC has expressed concerns of this acquisition as it may ‘stifle competition’ throughout the hardware category.

Bunnings Warehouse is poised to acquire Adelaide Tools, a power tool company with more than five stores across the city and a robust online presence. The hardware company is also set to acquire Oaklands Mower Centre, an online and brick-and-mortar store in South Australia.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it has ‘preliminary concerns’ about this acquisition, as the business would ‘stifle’ competition across the country.

“Bunnings has a very powerful position in hardware, building supplies and home improvement. Since the exit of Woolworths’ Masters from the industry, Bunnings has grown rapidly and has become by far the leading player,” said Rod Sims, ACCC Chair.

“Since the exit of Woolworths’ Masters from the industry, Bunnings has grown rapidly and has become by far the leading player.”

The ACCC will be considering the extent of this acquisition, saying it may give Bunnings an unfair advantage in the hardware and gardening categories in Australian retail.

“Adelaide Tools is one of only two tool specialists with a physical presence in Adelaide and competes strongly on price, innovation, range, and service quality. Our preliminary view is that the proposed acquisition would stifle this competition,” he said.

“The ACCC considers that tools specialists, such as Adelaide Tools, are Bunnings’ closest and strongest competitors for the supply of tools and outdoor power equipment, particularly to trade customers.”

The ACCC has stated issues, of which the submissions are due March 6th 2020. The final decision is expected on April 23rd.

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