Australia’s consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has raised concerns about competition after the proposed merger of two of the country’s biggest RV companies, Tourism Holdings Limited’s (THL) and Apollo.
The ACCC’s concerns about the merger are about the companies’ merger is regarding their list of all rental brands in Australia.
THL is a New Zealand-based global tourism company operating various tourism businesses in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and the UK.
THL’s operations include RV rentals, sales, and manufacturing in the country. Their Australian RV rental brands include Maui, Brutz, and Might Camper, according to a report.
Meanwhile, Apollo is an Aussie-based tourism leisure company operating in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, the UK, and Ireland.
In Australia, their primary operations are manufacturing, rental, sales, and distribution of RVs. Their rental brands are Star RV, Apollo, Cheapa Campa, and Hippie Camper.
The merger proposal was made in December, valuing Apollo at around AU$137 million.
Last Thursday, the ACCC said in a statement that the acquisition of Apollo would remove THL’s largest competitor for motorized RV rentals in Australia.
“Market feedback … indicates that other RV rental suppliers lack the scale to replace the competition lost by Apollo being acquired,” ACCC commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.
“Furthermore, our inquiries have not identified that new entry or expansion by other RV suppliers is likely to provide a strong competitive constraint on a combined THL and Apollo.”
Regarding new competitors in the market like Camplify, Camptoo, and Outdoorsy, the ACCC said they are examining to what degree these platforms can compete with traditional RV rental companies.
Despite the platforms’ growing popularity, the ACCC is not convinced the new tech-enabled companies can give a solid competition to traditional RV rental suppliers.
“As a result of market feedback so far, we are concerned that consumers may end up paying more to rent RVs, or receive lower quality and service, as a result of the proposed acquisition,” Ridgeway added.
The ACCC will make a decision on the acquisition on July 21, 2022. It is the first time they have been dealing with an acquisition since they announced a priority on the space.
They will also look into many complaints against caravan companies in Australia under a different body of work.
This article originally appeared on Gizmodo Australia.