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ACCC delays Woolworths, BP deal again

BP2ACCC has delayed the proposed acquisition of BP of Woolworths’ retail service station sites upon the request of the two companies. The new decision date will be on 14 December 2017.

“This is a significant decision for the retail petrol market in Australia. The extension to the consideration period will allow the ACCC to consider further information from the parties,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“This potential transaction involves complex, extensive data analysis of fuel prices across all fuel sites in Australia over a number of years, and it’s vital we take the time to thoroughly assess its likely impact.”

The consumer watchdog commenced a public review of the proposed acquisition on 15 March 2017. BP supplies fuel to approximately 1,400 BP-branded service stations throughout Australia. The company controls 347 sites, including 316 of BP’s own network of sites referred to by Woolworths operates 531 sites and has 12 sites in development.

Apart from BP’s proposed acquisition of Woolworths’ network of retail service station sites, they have applied for authorisation to implement a shopper docket discount scheme and loyalty program.

Woolies extends gift card expiration

Woolworths has also extended their gift cards expiration to three years. The NSW Government yesterday announced it will be mandatory for retailers in the state to honour gift cards, purchased after March 31st next year, for at least three years.

“We know that customers love receiving gift cards from friends and family as presents and we understand how frustrating it can be when it expires before it’s been used. While we find most customers redeem their cards within three months of the purchase date, we have seen an increase in customers asking for more time than one year to use them,” Woolworths head of Financial Services and Insurance, Chris Cramond said.

“By extending the expiry to three years, customers will have greater flexibility to enjoy the use of their gift cards across our Group stores nationally and online, and not just NSW as per the state legislation.”

Woolworths offers a range of gift cards including WISH Gift Card, Store Gift Card, Essentials Gift Card and Groceries Gift Card.

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