Australia watchdog blocks Asahi’s P&N buy

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Australia’s competition watchdog blocked Japanese group Asahi Breweries’ A$364 million acquisition of P&N Beverages on concerns the deal will remove an affective competitor from the soft drinks market.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) raised concerns in December the takeover would remove P&N as the only strong competitor to Australia’s Coca-Cola Amatil and Asahi-owned Schweppes.
“Following its extensive investigation, the ACCC concluded that no other supplier is likely to expand sufficiently to replace the lost competitive constraint in the foreseeable future,” ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel said in a statement.