One SuperDua newsagency chain starting up


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have allowed A&R; Whitcoulls Group Holdings to buy Borders bookshop in Australia. The decision is here {link removed}

A&R; Whitcoulls Group (ARW) is a huge company who among other concerns owns Angus & Robertson and the Supanews chain of newsagencies. They currently have the largest market share in books in Australia. In total, they may also already have the largest market share in magazines too although their market share of magazines would be much smaller than books. I suspect soon this decision will have dramatic consequences to the newsagency industry if only because I remember an early attempt by A&R; Whitcoulls to use their market muscle to demand bigger margins from suppliers. If you don't remember this read here.

For those of you that sell books, I thought that this comment by the ACCC was interesting.

The ACCC's inquiries confirmed that Angus & Robertson currently prices many of its books above recommended retail price. The ACCC was concerned that Angus & Robertson would attempt to roll out this policy in Borders post-acquisition. However, the ACCC noted that Borders has also recently implemented a policy of selling some books at prices above RRP anyway. Further, as customer and retailer awareness of backlist pricing grows, other book retailers will be in a position to highlight their lower prices and win customers from Borders and Angus & Robertson if they attempt to increase prices further,"