Australian regulator clears Transurban's Queensland Motorways bid

SYDNEY, April 4 Thu Apr 3, 2014 6:27pm EDT

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SYDNEY, April 4 (Reuters) - Australia's competition regulator said it would let Transurban Group, the country's biggest toll road owner, buy Queensland state-owned toll road owner Queensland Motorways Ltd, concluding that a deal would not substantially reduce competition.

Transurban, superannuation fund conglomerate AustralianSuper and the state-run Abu Dhabi Investment Authority form one of the three international groups bidding for QML, the largest of several Australian privatisations with an expected price tag around A$5 billion ($4.6 billion).

"The (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) determined that the proposed acquisition would not enable Transurban to raise prospective rivals' costs through higher roaming fees, for future opportunities to own and operate tollroad concessions," the ACCC said in a statement. ($1 = 1.0832 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Byron Kaye and Lincoln Feast)

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