The ACCC raised serious concerns in December about the effects of the Asahi acquisition of P&N Beverages on all areas of the soft drinks market

The ACCC raised serious concerns in December about the effects of the Asahi acquisition of P&N Beverages on all areas of the soft drinks market

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said that it will oppose Asahi's proposed acquisition of P&N Beverages in Australia.

In December, the competition watchdog raised concerns about possible effects of the deal on all areas of the countrys' soft drinks market. Japan-based Asahi already owns Australia's second biggest soft drinks player, Schweppes Australia. P&N is the market number three.

In a statement today (9 March), the ACCC said that, having conducted "an extensive investigation" of the proposed purchase, it has concluded that P&N's CSDs constrain the price of Schweppes CSDs.

"The proposed acquisition would remove P&N as a vigorous and effective competitor in the CSD market and would result in Asahi and Coca-Cola Amatil being the only remaining significant competitors in the CSD market," said ACCC's chairman, Graeme Samuel.

"Following its extensive investigation, the ACCC concluded that no other CSD supplier is likely to expand sufficiently to replace the lost competitive constraint in the foreseeable future," he added. "In particular, other smaller suppliers of CSDs lack the scale, infrastructure and brands to act as a competitive constraint on Asahi post acquisition."

Samuel said the proposed acquisition would "weaken the constraint provided on the Schweppes range of CSDs", allowing Asahi to also increase the price of its Schweppes' CSDs.

To read the official documents, click here.