Fairfax gets all-clear for $50m acquisition of All Homes

DomainThe competition regulator has given the all-clear for the acquisition of ACT-based All Homes by Fairfax after concluding the declining circulation of the Canberra Times was among the reasons why the deal would not damage competition in the online or print real estate market.

The deal will boost Fairfax’s Domain business as speculation continues to persist that the real estate division may float separately from the main company.

Fairfax announced in July that it was spending about $50 million to acquire All Homes which serves 180 real estate agencies in the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding areas of regional NSW.

allhomes_logo_header2The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) described Domain as a “weak competitor” in the ACT and concluded that competition was unlikely to diminish.

“Market inquiries indicated that aggregating Fairfax’s print and online assets with All Homes was unlikely to change the current competitive dynamics. This is due to the dominant position of All Homes in the ACT and the decrease in circulation of the Canberra Times,” ACCC commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.

The ACCC also analysed confidential agreements between All Homes and real estate agents and concluded there would be no restrictions preventing agents from listing on a range of competing websites, including Domain’s major rival

Fairfax chief executive and managing director Greg Hywood said at the time of the announcement that Canberra is a “strategically important market for Fairfax and Allhomes reinforces our digital position in the ACT”.


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