Mitre 10 Mega in Cameron Rd, Tauranga.

PHOTO: Mitre 10 Mega in Cameron Rd, Tauranga. Photo / Mead Norton

According to the NZHERALD The Commerce Commission has accused a Mitre 10 operator of anti-competitive antics by buying land and preventing a Bunnings Warehouse from being built on it.

The commission has filed proceedings in the High Court in Wellington against NGB Properties Ltd for allegedly contravening section 28 of the Commerce Act.

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NGB is a sister company of Juted Holdings Ltd. Juted operates Mitre 10 Mega in Tauranga.

Section 28 prohibits land covenants that have the purpose, effect, or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.

The commission alleges NGB acquired a property in central Tauranga and placed a covenant on it that would have prevented a hardware store from being built on the property.

The commission alleges NGB planned to prevent a Bunnings Warehouse from being built on the site by lodging the covenant.

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In a media release issued today, the commission stated that in its view, this amounted to a purpose of substantially lessening competition for the retailing of hardware and home improvement goods in central Tauranga.

The commission and NGB have agreed on a settlement to resolve the proceedings.

A penalty hearing in the High Court at Wellington will be scheduled shortly.

Because the matter is before the court, the commission is unable to comment further for now.