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Commerce Commission isn’t sold on TradeMe’s potential property site purchase

The Commerce Commission is concerned that TradeMe’s potential acquisition of would lead to a drop in competition in the online property listing sector, the watchdog said today.

The issue lies in Homes’ pattern of growth which, if left unacquired, could lead to it becoming a competitor to TradeMe’s property business. Likewise, if the business is acquired before being able to continue this growth pattern, that potential competition could be eroded.

“[We are concerned that] the proposed acquisition would eliminate that potential competition and raise barriers to entry, and this will have a flow-on effect of reducing competition,” the watchdog said in its statement of unresolved issues.

TradeMe Property is the largest online property listing site in New Zealand by audience and number of listings, ComCom said.

Homes, on the other hand, focuses more so on data and information on the property sector, and has an adjunct business of listing properties for sale – a business they have said they are interested in growing in future, but not at the expense of their data platform, which is their main priority.

The Commission is due to make a decision on the acquisition by August 6, 2021, though notes that this date may be extended if it cannot come to a decision.

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