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MELBOURNE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Australia's competition watchdog said any proposed merger of Australia's two department store chains, Myer Holdings and David Jones Ltd , would face a tough competition assessment, and approval should not be assumed.
"They cannot be assured at all they will get merger approval from us," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.
He said that given the two are each other's closest competitors, with many stores in the same shopping centres and some branded goods exclusively sold by the two, the outcome of a merger assessment was "not at all assured."
He said the commission would look carefully at global online retail competition and to what extent people actually rely on shopping online.
Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Andrew Roche