On 7 August 2014, the ACCC announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Hudson Building Supplies Pty Limited (Hudson) by Woolworths Limited and Lowe’s Companies Inc (Joint Venture). Hudson operates a chain of stores in NSW and Queensland that supply building materials, hardware, and home improvement products. The ACCC considered that the proposed acquisition was not likely to substantially lessen competition in any of the local markets for the retail supply of hardware, building supplies and home improvement products.
The ACCC noted that the primary customer segment serviced by Hudson is builders who have materials delivered to building sites, with some overlap between Hudson and the Joint Venture's Masters stores in the supply of products and services to smaller trade customers from their respective retail outlets. The ACCC found that the degree of overlap in this customer segment was limited and that the Joint Venture would be likely to be competitively constrained by a number of retail competitors in each of the relevant local markets following the proposed acquisition.