The Commerce Commission today cleared the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission to acquire up to 100 percent of the shares in Salmond Smith Biolab (SSB) or all of SSB's fishing assets.

The Fisheries Commission already owns 43 percent of SSB.

Commerce Commission Deputy Chairman Peter Allport said the Commerce Act prohibits business acquisitions which lead to dominance being gained or strengthened in any markets.

"We are satisfied that this proposal would not result, or would not be likely to result, in anyone gaining or strengthening a dominant position in any market," Mr Allport said.

The acquisition would result in minor aggregation in the fin-fish and crayfish markets, but considerably more in the markets for the procurement and processing of paua.

The Commerce Commission concluded that Fisheries Commission, and its interconnected companies, would still be constrained by competition from other paua processors. Also, barriers to entering the markets are low.

"We consider that the proposal would not limit to any significant extent, if at all, the range of current or potential processing outlets for paua," Mr Allport said.

Media contact:Communications Officer, Vincent Cholewa

Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 479 1432