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ACCC backs Shell's $US70 billion takeover of BG


Source: ABC, 19 Nov 2015

The giant $US70 billion ($97.7 billion) takeover by Royal Dutch Shell of Britain's BG Group is another step closer to completion after Australia's corporate regulator waved through the deal.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had been concerned that the merger of two companies with significant assets in the burgeoning Queensland coal seam gas industry could reduce competition and drive up prices in the domestic market.

BG's $US20.4 billion QCLNG plant has been in production for nearly a year, while Shell holds a 50 per cent stake with PetroChina in Arrow Energy, which it purchased in 2010 for $US3 billion.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the wholesale natural gas market, in either Queensland or eastern Australia more broadly.

"The ACCC concluded that as Arrow is not currently focussed on supplying domestic customers, and appears unlikely to be so in the future, aligning Arrow with an LNG operator would not change competition for the supply of gas to domestic customers," Mr Sims said.

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