Will Westpac/St George kill competition?

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A senator from South Australia is calling on the Federal Government to block Westpac's proposed takeover of St George.

The acquisition has got Nick Xenophon angry: "If [Treasurer] Wayne Swan wants to have competition in the sector, don't allow that merger, because it will reduce competition." (The Australian)

Is Xenophon right to be anxious? Will the deal really kill competition? And what will be the affect on jobs, if and when the takeover goes ahead?

At the moment it looks unlikely that the bid will be blocked - the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has already stated that it won't stand in Westpac's way.

So is the senator just engaging in pointless grandstanding, or do you also fear for the future of competition in the financial sector?

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