The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking input on a proposed anti-plagiarism software merger.

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  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking input on a proposed anti-plagiarism software merger.

In a statement released Thursday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) expressed reservations over Turnitin’s proposed acquisition of Ouriginal. It was in March 2021 that Turnitin first revealed its intention to buy Ouriginal.

Turnitin and Ouriginal are anti-plagiarism software suppliers who primarily target higher education providers (HEPs), such as educational institutions, with their education and training services. They are two of only three companies in Australia that provide this type of software to academic institutions.

According to ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeley, “Ouriginal, which is a significant supplier in Europe, has far fewer customers in Australia than Turnitin,” a plagiarism detection service. The fact that it is one of Turnitin’s only competitors in the higher education market means that it has the potential to become a significant competitive restriction for the company.”

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s statement of concerns, the proposed acquisition might considerably reduce competition in the anti-plagiarism software sector, resulting in higher costs. ACC is also concerned that the planned acquisition will result in a decrease in worldwide innovation, which will result in a decrease in product innovation and quality for the Australian higher education segment as a result. Notably, the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom granted approval to Turnitin’s proposed acquisition in July.

While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is assessing whether or not other international software businesses may enter and/or expand within Australia in order to compete with Turnitin, it is worried about the impediments to such entry. The ACCC has requested submissions from all parties involved, and it expects to make a final judgement by the end of November.

The ACCC has published a Statement of Issues outlining preliminary competition concerns in relation to the proposed acquisition.

The ACCC invites submissions on its Statement of Issues by 27 September 2021. Submissions may be e-mailed to mergers@accc.gov.au.

For more details, please refer to the Statement of Issues below.

Following 27 September 2021, queries regarding the ACCC’s review may be addressed to Steven Lee/Sidd Sharma at mergers@accc.gov.au.

For more information, please visit here.

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