ACCC clears Westfield buy

Lender makes a play to win back market share from its big four rivals.

Westfield Group (WDC) and Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) have been cleared to acquire a Perth shopping centre after the consumer watchdog said it would not oppose the deal.

In a statement, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the verdict was conditional on Westfield's acceptance of a court enforceable undertaking to sell their ownership of a nearby shopping centre.

The watchdog said it considered whether the acquisition of Karrinyup Shopping Centre would result in Westfield extracting higher rents from retailers.

Since there is limited retail space available in north-west metropolitan Perth, the ACCC said that Westfield's ownership of two competing shopping centres may result in a substantial lessening of competition.

To remedy its concerns, the ACCC said the acquisition will be conditional on the group selling Westfield Innaloo to a purchaser approved by the watchdog.

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