The Commerce Commission has granted clearance to Real Journeys Limited to acquire the vessel, the Spirit of Queenstown, and associated assets from Southern Discoveries Limited.
In a statement, the Commission said Real Journeys Limited (trading as Real NZ) was focused on offering transport across Lake Whakatipu, on the vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw, to experiences that it offers at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Southern Discoveries, via the Spirit of Queenstown, provides food and beverage-focused cruises on Lake Whakatipu, without transportation to an end destination.
“The Commission is satisfied that Real NZ’s acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market,” it said.
“While Real NZ and Southern Discoveries both offer scheduled tourist cruises on Lake Whakatipu in Queenstown, after considering a range of factors including the parties’ product offerings, pricing and passenger numbers, our investigation found that they do not compete closely.
“Given this, the Commission is of the view that there would not be a substantial loss of competitive constraint on Real NZ as a result of the acquisition.”
A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in due course.