ANZ share price higher amid Suncorp Bank takeover news

ANZ is seeking to acquire the banking operations of Suncorp. But will it be allowed?

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The ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) share price is pushing higher on Tuesday.

At the time of writing, the banking giant's shares are up 1% to $23.50.

What's going on with the ANZ share price?

Investors have been bidding the ANZ share price higher after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its statement of preliminary views on the company's proposed acquisition of the banking operations of Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN).

According to the release, the competition regulator is seeking further submissions to help it with its decision about whether to approve the proposed takeover.

For now, the ACCC has revealed that it believes there has been insufficient information to prove the public benefits from the deal. Its preliminary view is as follows:

The ACCC's preliminary view is that the information currently before it is insufficient to substantiate the nature, likelihood and extent of the claimed public benefits, including ANZ's estimates of future synergies that will be achieved and claims regarding public commitments to investment in Queensland or improvements in prudential stability arising from the Proposed Acquisition.

As for competition, the regulator highlights the potential overlap in agribusiness and small business lending. It adds:

The ACCC's preliminary view is that the areas of competition between ANZ and Suncorp Bank that have the most potential to raise competition concerns stem from the activities in which they overlap, including: the supply of agribusiness banking, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) banking, home loans and retail deposits (including transactions and savings accounts and term deposits). The ACCC also considers there is a higher degree of geographic overlap between ANZ and Suncorp Bank in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

The ACCC will now seek feedback from stakeholders, with submissions accepted up until 18 April. After which, a final decision on the takeover will be made on 12 June. The ACCC concludes:

The ACCC can only grant authorisation if it is satisfied in all the circumstances that either there is not a likely substantial lessening of competition, or that there are likely to be public benefits that outweigh any public detriments.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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