Cabcharge Australia Limited - proposed acquisition of Yellow Cabs Queensland

Type of assessment Informal Review
Reference 61762
Cabcharge Australia Limited
Yellow Cabs Queensland
Industry Taxi network services
Outcome of assessment Not opposed
Total review days * 33
Commenced public review 27th April 2017
Date completed 22nd June 2017
Market definition
The ACCC considered the effects of the proposed acquisition on the following markets:
- The supply of network services to taxi operators in Brisbane and surrounds
- The supply of booking and dispatch services to personalised transport service operators and drivers nationally and locally
- The supply of personalised transport services to the public in Brisbane and surrounds
- The supply of non-cash payment processing services to personalised transport service operators in Australia.
Competition analysis
The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any of the relevant markets.

While Cabcharge owns and operates taxi networks in other Australian States, it does not operate any taxi networks in Queensland. As such, there is no direct overlap between Cabcharge and Yellow Cabs in Queensland.

The ACCC considered whether the proposed acquisition would increase the barriers to entry in Queensland for rival providers of non-cash payment processing services to personalised transport service operators.

The ACCC noted the proliferation of competing non-cash payment processing providers, and the rapid expansion of ridesharing services, such as Uber. These developments have lessened the likelihood that Cabcharge could foreclose rival payment processing system providers.

The ACCC also considered whether the supply by Cabcharge of payment terminals and meters to competitors of Yellow Cabs could substantially lessen competition, because Cabcharge would have access to information about Yellow Cabs' competitors. The ACCC did not consider that the information would give Cabcharge a significant competitive advantage or lead to a substantial lessening of competition. However, if it can be shown that Cabcharge has used such information in an anti-competitive manner, the ACCC may be able to take action under the other competition provisions.
Review timeline
Date Event
27th April 2017 ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.
8th May 2017 ACCC requested further information from Cabcharge. ACCC timeline suspended.
17th May 2017 Timeline recommenced.
22nd May 2017 Closing date for submissions from interested parties.
22nd June 2017 ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.

* Total Review days = Total business days less public holidays and time during which the review was suspended.