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Australia's antitrust regulator raises concerns over Landmark-Ruralco deal – Reuters Africa

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June 13 (Reuters) – Australia’s competition regulator said on Thursday it was examining whether a proposed takeover of Ruralco Holdings Ltd could reduce wholesale competition and lead to discrimination against some independent retail stores.

In February, rural services firm Ruralco got a A$469 million ($337 million) all-cash takeover offer from Canadian fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd. Nutrien operates in Australia through its wholly-owned unit Landmark, one of the largest agricultural businesses in Australia.

The deal is facing antitrust concerns as a combination of the two large rural supply firms would create a sector heavyweight.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it would also examine what impact the loss of a major national retail competitor might have on prices and product range, including private label brands, and other areas of competition. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)