Weelee has been recognised as a participant in the merger proceedings of WeBuyCars and Naspers-controlled MIH eCommerce.
Earlier this year the Competition Commission recommended that the proposed acquisition of WeBuyCars by Naspers be prohibited.
The Competition Commission argued that the deal should be stopped because it could prevent a similar business from entering the market.
The proposed deal would see MIH eCommerce Holdings, an entity within the Naspers group, acquiring 60% of WeBuyCars.
MIH eCommerce has investments in the online classifieds platform OLX and the Naspers’ subsidiary Car Trader, which operates as AutoTrader.
The commission found that there are numerous ways in which Naspers could ‘harness the complementarities’ between WeBuyCars and AutoTrader and/or OLX to the exclusion of effective competition by WeBuyCars rivals as well as other online platforms.
MIH eCommerce and WeBuyCars, however, oppose the commission’s prohibition recommendation and the Competition Tribunal is set to hear evidence and argument regarding the matter from 14 October 2019.
Weelee enters proceedings
This afternoon, the Competition Tribunal issued an order recognising Weelee, which is a direct competitor to WeBuyCars, as a participant in the merger proceedings.
In terms of the Tribunal’s order, Weelee’s participation in the merger proceedings gives it the right to:
- Access the commission’s records and any additional documents filed by the merging parties.
- Lead the evidence of Weelee’s CEO, limited to the evidence contained in his witness statement and to the extent that the evidence has not been led by the commission.
- Cross-examine the merging parties’ witnesses, to the extent that this does not result in a duplication of the commission’s cross examination.
Weelee’s rights granted by the Tribunal are subject to there being no disruption to the Tribunal’s existing timetable for the hearing.