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Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Trade Me Limited / Limelight Software Limited

25 July 2017

The Commerce Commission has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to Trade Me Limited’s (Trade Me) proposed acquisition of up to 100% of the shares in Limelight Software Limited, trading as Motorcentral.

The statement outlines the main issues that the Commission considers important in deciding whether or not to grant clearance to the proposed merger. A copy can be found on the Commission’s Clearances Register.

The Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on the likely competitive effects of Trade Me’s proposed acquisition of Motorcentral. Submissions can be sent by email to registrar@comcom.govt.nz with the reference “Trade Me/Motorcentral” in the subject line. Any submissions should be received by close of business on 7 August 2017.

The Commission has also updated its Clearances Register to reflect the indicative time frame for its decision on the proposed merger. We have agreed with Trade Me that we will make a decision by 5 September 2017.

However, this date may change as our investigation progresses. In particular, if we need to test and consider the issues identified further, the decision date is likely to extend. 

Background

Trade Me is an online marketplace and classified advertising platform, based in New Zealand. Trade Me operates the "Trade Me Motors" business division, which has services including the provision of online vehicle classified advertising and applications that dealers use to manage and sell their stock.  Trade Me is seeking clearance to acquire Motorcentral, whose primary business is the provision of dealer management system software to motor vehicle dealers.

When considering a proposed merger, the Commission must determine whether the competition that would be lost with the merger would be substantial.

We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the clearances page.