Australian Competition Tribunal
On 12 February 2014 AGL announced it had entered into an agreement with the NSW Government to acquire Macquarie Generation assets for $1,505 million. The acquisition was conditional on approval by the ACCC.
AGL applied to the ACCC for informal clearance of its proposed takeover of Macquarie Generation in 2014. AGL claimed that
"there is a strong factual basis to demonstrate that the acquisition of Macgen will not result in a substantial lessening of competition. AGL does not currently own any significant generation assets in New South Wales where the two largest electricity retailers, Origin Energy and Energy Australia, already own substantial generation assets acquired as a result of transactions previously approved by the ACCC. AGL also understands that the New South Wales Government’s bid selection process had regard to the effects of the sale on market competition in the State before making its decision to proceed with a conditional sale to AGL"
In late March the ACCC refused to grant informal clearance, concluding that:
"“The proposed acquisition would result in the largest source of generation capacity in NSW being owned by one of the three largest retailers in NSW. Indeed, with this acquisition, the three largest retailers in NSW would own a combined share of 70 to 80 per cent of electricity generation capacity or output. This is likely to raise barriers to entry and expansion for other electricity retailers in NSW and therefore reduce competition compared to the situation if the proposed acquisition does not proceed ..." (source: Press release)
On 24 March 2014 AGL applied to the Tribunal for authorisation of the proposed deal.
On 25 June 2014 the Tribunal authorised the proposed acquisition. View Tribunal decision (Application for Authorisation of Acquisition of Macquarie Generation by AGL Energy Limited  ACompT 1).
On 24 July 2014 the ACCC announced it would not appeal the Tribunals' decision.
Key documents can be found on the Tribunal's authorisation page. They include:
- Australian Competition Tribunal grants first direct merger authorisation (Macquarie Generation, AGL Energy) (18 September 2014, e-Competitions (N° 68908, www.concurrences.com))
- Stephen Corones, 'Competition law and market regulation: Behaviour v Structure: Tribunal's AGL Energy Merger Authorisation' (2014) 42 ABLR 292
- Sarah Moritz, 'Case note: Application for authorisation of acquisition of Macquarie Generation by AGL Energy Ltd' (2014) 22(4) Australian Journal of Competition and Consumer Law 289
- Anthony Klan, 'ACCC 'clean-bowled' by ruling' (The Australian, 27 June 2014, page 20)
- ACCC Press Release (25 June 2014)
- Maggie Lu Yueyang, 'Regulator overturns ban on AGL's MacGen buy' (Business Spectator, 25 June 2014)
- John Durie, 'Panel's decision a huge blow to Sims' (The Australian, 26 June 2014)
- Anthony Klan and Andrew White, 'Watchdog warns of energy price rise as AGL deal gets nod' (The Australian, 26 June 2014)
- Stephen Bartholemeusz, 'A sharp AGL rebuke could short-circut ACCC power' (Business Spectator, 25 June 2014)
- Daniel Palmer, 'DataRoom AM: AGL triumph' (Business Spectator, 26 June 2014)
- Ashurst 'Competition Tribunal authorises AGL to acquire Macquarie Generation in ground breaking decision' (Ashurst Competition Law News, 25 June 2014)
- Brian Robins, 'AGL MacGen buy would cut competition and now lower prices, warns ACCC' (Sydney Morning Herald, 26 May 2014)
- AAP, 'AGL to fight rejected MacGen buy' (The Australian, 25 March 2014)
- Angela Macdonald-Smith, 'AGL appeals ACCC veto of $1.5b Macquarie Generation takeover' (Sydney Morning Herald, 24 March 2014)
- Pam Cue, 'Blackout' (In Competition blog)
- John Durie and Mitchell Neems, 'AGL tipped to appeal ACCC's Macquarie Generation decision' (The Australian, 4 March 2014).
- 'AGL boss Michael Fraser's only option is to appeal ACCC's MacGen ruling' (Editorial, The Australian, 5 March 2014)
- George Raitt, 'Holding back the tide: ACCC's MacGen determination - Mar 2014' (Piper Alderman, 7 March 2014)