Paradise acquisition queried

Business

THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission has issued a statutory notice to Paradise Company Limited to provide information relating to the acquisition of Laga Industries Limited.
The commission needs the information to investigate the acquisition and assist it in performing its statutory functions set out in the ICCC Act 2002. Commissioner Paulus Ain said they only learnt of the acquisition in July in the media after it had gone through.
The commission requested the company to provide information on the acquisition of Laga by July 20. But it is still waiting.
“Given the fact that both Paradise and Laga are two well-established competitors in the food and beverage manufacturing industry in PNG, there are genuine competition concerns that would require the ICCC’s thorough assessment and verification. As a result, a competition assessment is necessary for this acquisition,” Ain said
“The ICCC has now served Paradise a statutory notice under section 128 of the ICCC Act for it to provide the requested information. Failure to comply will mean a contravention of the ICCC Act.”
The penalties for non-compliance include a K50,000 fine or a six-month jail term.
“We gave Paradise sufficient time to provide the necessary information and even sent a follow-up letter on Aug 16, 2018. However, Paradise has neither responded nor provided the requested information to date.”
He said the commission reserved its rights to challenge in court the acquisition if it concluded that the acquisition would, or would be likely to, substantially lessen competition in PNG. No comment could be obtained from the company.

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