Qantas today expressed disappointment in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) decision to delay its findings on the airline’s acquisition of Alliance Aviation Services for a third time.
Qantas has been clear about its intention to fully acquire Alliance since it took a 19 per cent stake in the charter services operator in February 2019. The ACCC took three years to investigate that minority holding and made no findings that it lessened competition. The Commission has also had the benefit of over two years of closely monitoring the domestic aviation industry.
The latest timeline pushes a decision by the ACCC on the full acquisition to 20 March 2023, some 10 months since Qantas and Alliance filed their application for informal merger clearance. This would make it one of the longest processes for informal clearance in recent times.
This compares with the 11 days it took the ACCC to decide it didn’t need to conduct a public review of Rex’s acquisition of National Jet Express from Cobham in July this year.
Qantas is a firm believer in regulation and due process, and has cooperated fully with information requests from the ACCC, but also believes such regulation needs to be timely and efficient to maintain confidence in the process.