ANTITRUST | Projects

Castalia advises on competition issues and provides expert evidence in antitrust proceedings.
  • Fonterra’s Proposed US$1.5 billion Acquisition of National Foods, Australia
    New Zealand’s largest company, Fonterra, wanted to acquire a major Australian dairy product manufacturer, National Foods for US$1.5 billion. Castalia provided specialist economic advice on the competitive effects of the acquisition by considering the likely efficiency benefits and potential for price impacts in the trans-Tasman market for dairy products. The acquisition was cleared by the competition authorities, although Fonterra ultimately withdrew its bid for the company
  • Strategic Advice for Proposed Port Merger, New Zealand
    Castalia provided strategic advice on a proposed merger between New Zealand’s two largest ports, Ports of Auckland and the Port of Tauranga. Castalia developed an access pricing regime to address regulatory concerns and ensure that the merger could obtain the necessary government and regulatory approvals. We also integrated our regulatory pricing forecasts with a full financial analysis of the post-merger company, which showed that the merger would generate operational synergies and add value for shareholders
  • Ophthalmologists Price Fixing Prosecution, New Zealand
    The New Zealand Commerce Commission launched an investigation into whether coordination by doctors in Southland in the Ophthalmologists Society of New Zealand lessened competition and helped to keep overseas doctors from entering the market. Castalia provided expert economic reports and testimony for the Commission on the effects of the coordination, which helped the Commerce Commission win the case
  • Review of Payments Market for Visa Clearance Application, Singapore
    The Competition Commission of Singapore received a clearance application from Visa to obtain regulatory approval for credit card network arrangements. Castalia was engaged by the Commission to assess competition in the Singaporean payments market and evaluate the competitive effects of credit card network rules, including the Multilateral Interchange Fee. Castalia also evaluated efficiency arguments relating to credit card payments, such as network externalities, two-sided markets and efficient price discrimination and found that competition law was not well suited for addressing the unique features of the payments market
  • Marshalling and Stevedoring Access Pricing, New Zealand
    A marshalling and stevedoring company was faced with an increase in the fees charged by a wharf owned and operated by a vertically integrated port company. Castalia determined the maximum access prices that were justifiable under applicable competition laws and helped the company develop its strategy for responding to the proposed price increase
  • Access to Terminals for New Ferry Service, New Zealand
    Pacific Ferries had been unable to obtain access to the Half Moon Bay ferry terminal for a proposed new ferry service business in the Hauraki Gulf. Castalia drafted a report to the New Zealand Commerce Commission outlining the advantages of increased competition for consumers, and prepared a witness statement for a High Court hearing. Castalia also attempted to negotiate a solution, and the company ultimately secured the access required to start the new venture
  • Elasticity Testing for Fast-moving Consumer Goods, New Zealand
    A large player in the market for fast-moving consumer goods in New Zealand was considering an acquisition of one of its competitors. To obtain a regulatory clearance for the acquisition, Castalia developed regression models that tested the sensitivity of prices of fast-moving consumer goods, to changes in ownership concentration. The analysis provided by Castalia included the effects of competitive pressures from overseas suppliers, and found that the merger would have limited price impacts
  • Australian Copyright Tribunal Music Download Royalties, AustraliaA Castalia team member was retained as an expert witness to provide evidence on the likely impact on businesses and consumers of a proposed change in the royalty rate for online music downloads. The analysis included an assessment of whether CDs and illegal downloads through file sharing are close substitutes for commercially available music downloads, and the anticipated reaction of online music providers to the proposed royalty rate increase, and the impact on consumer welfare.