The ACCC has granted unconditional merger authorisation to Gumtree’s proposed acquisition of Cox Australia Media Solutions (Cox Media), allowing Gumtree Cars to be combined with Cox Media’s Carsguide and Autotrader sites.
“We authorised this merger because we concluded it was not likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition, including in the supply of online automotive classifieds in Australia. Therefore it was not necessary to consider the public benefit limb of the authorisation test,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
Carsales is the leading provider of online automotive classified advertising in Australia and is a significant competitive constraint on Gumtree and Cox Media. Facebook Marketplace is also a growing competitor to Gumtree and Cox Media in the supply of online automotive classifieds services.
“Our investigation showed that Carsales and Facebook Marketplace are likely to continue to provide significant competition in online automotive classifieds after Gumtree acquires Cox Media,” Sims said.
“We also found that Gumtree and Cox Media focus on different segments, with Gumtree focussing on private seller listings and Cox Media focussing on dealer listings.”
Gumtree is a subsidiary of eBay Classifieds Holding BV, whose ultimate parent company is eBay Inc. eBay operates a multi-category general classifieds website in Australia.
Cox Media is a subsidiary of Cox Automotive, which is 70 per cent owned by Cox Automotive International Sarl and 30 per cent owned by DealerMotive Ltd, a consortium of Australian dealer groups. Carsguide and Autotrader provide automotive editorial content and automotive classifieds.