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November 6, 2017

ACCC to deny interim authorisation for Port of Brisbane and Carnival

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken a decision not to grant interim authorisation to the Port of Brisbane and US-based vessel operator Carnival for their proposed licence agreement relating to a planned cruise ship terminal.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken a decision not to grant interim authorisation to the Port of Brisbane and US-based vessel operator Carnival for their proposed licence agreement relating to a planned cruise ship terminal.

The decision is based on an application submitted by the Port of Brisbane and Carnival requesting authorisation on 11 October this year.

ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston said: “The decision was based on there being no conduct to which the interim authorisation would apply.

“It does not involve any assessment of the merits of the application for final authorisation.”

As part of the proposed licence agreement, Carnival intends to make a commitment to buy a minimum level of capacity in order to guarantee the construction of the new terminal by Port of Brisbane in Australia.

In return, Carnival is expected to receive certain priority berthing rights at the terminal.

“As there is no proposal to engage in the conduct for which interim authorisation is sought, it is not appropriate to grant interim authorisation.”

The deal cannot become effective until the construction of the terminal is completed in 2020.

However, Port of Brisbane and Carnival requested urgent interim authorisation because they considered it would provide them with some level of comfort before beginning the construction of the terminal this month.

Featherston further added: “The ACCC view is that Port of Brisbane and Carnival do not require interim authorisation to commence construction of the port.

“The arrangements for which authorisation is sought cannot commence until 2020, by which time the ACCC will have made a final decision on whether to grant authorisation to the agreement.

“As there is no proposal to engage in the conduct for which interim authorisation is sought, it is not appropriate to grant interim authorisation.”

ACCC has already begun consultation on this proposal and expects to make a determination on its latest decision by the first half of next year.

A draft on the determination is expected to come out by January next year.

 

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