by Meriba Tulo – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, ICCC, has raised serious concerns over the recently announced proposal by Oil Search to acquire InterOil.
ICCC Commissioner & CEO, Paulus Ain, said this deal could substantially lessen the competition within the natural gas market in Papua New Guinea.
Section 69 of the ICCC Act, which deals with business acquisitions, prohibits acquisitions of assets or shares which could lessen competition in the market.
Ain says parties in this proposed acquisition should apply to the ICCC for an exemption from Section 69 of the ICCC act before finalising this transaction.
“The ICCC is therefore urging Oil Search and InterOil as good corporate citizens of PNG to respect the country’s established statutory framework and seek relevant regulatory approval under the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Act, 2002 (“ICCC Act”) and be protected.”
According to the ICCC, failure to comply with these requirements could result in a fine of up to K10 million.