The Commerce Commission (ComCom), NZ’s competition enforcement and regulatory agency, has denied Aon New Zealand clearance to acquire Fire Protection Services Limited (FPIS).
Both Aon and FPIS provide fire protection services, including the inspection of fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems, nationwide.
ComCom was not satisfied that the proposed merger would not substantially lessen competition in the market, as it involves the two largest national sprinkler inspection firms and would have resulted in most sprinkler inspectors in the country being employed by the same company.
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“We were concerned that this proposed merger would have therefore eroded choice, which could have led to higher prices or lower quality services,” said Commission chairman Dr Mark Berry.
The commission was also not satisfied that the smaller, mostly regional competitors would be able to constrain the merged entity, or that a sufficient number of inspectors could enter the affected markets, in upper North Island, the lower North Island, and the South Island, in a timely manner.
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