SYDNEY, March 4 Australia's competition
regulator on Tuesday blocked AGL Energy Ltd's A$1.5
billion ($1.34 billion) plan to buy state-owned power company
Macquarie Generation, saying the deal would have substantially
reduced competition in the country's most populous state.
AGL said it was reviewing the decision by the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission and would make a further
statement in due course.
The New South Wales government last month agreed to sell
MacGen to AGL, ruling out accepting lower rival offers from
Brisbane-based ERM Power Ltd and Japan's Marubeni Corp
. It said it would pull the sale if AGL's bid was
The regulator's rejection also deals a blow to plans by
Australian state and federal governments to kick off a series of
privatisations of infrastructure assets this year to help pay
for new road and rail projects.
($1 = 1.1194 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast, editing by G Crosse)