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Australian regulator clears Wesfarmers' purchase of online retailer Catch Group

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC, has cleared Wesfarmers Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of e-commerce company Catch Group Holdings Ltd. for A$230 million.

"We reviewed whether Wesfarmers' retail position could be leveraged into online sales and marketplaces in an anti-competitive way… The current growth in online marketplaces is fostering competition between providers, and feedback indicated that Wesfarmers' proposed acquisition of Catch would be unlikely to change that level of competition," ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said in a statement.

Stakeholders also advised the ACCC that Catch and Wesfarmers are not close competitors due to the differences in their business models.

The commission opened its review on the proposed deal on June 14.

Following the ACCC's clearance, Wesfarmers said completion of the transaction is expected to occur within August.