The Australian competition watchdog has cleared the way for a bid for Borders' Australasian operations by the New Zealand publicly-listed company A&R Whitcoulls Group.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Wednesday that it would not oppose the acquisition of Borders Australia by the books retailer.

The ARW has yet to announce what it's next move will be, but the announcement clears the final regulatory hurdle to an acquisition. The New Zealand Commerce Commission had already given its blessing to the proposal.

In Australia, the ACCC's concerns centered around the books market and the impact a combined Angus & Robertson/Borders operation would have on competition.

In reaching its decision, the ACCC decided that the different constraints provided by other leading book chains, department stores and mass merchants, and niche independent operators would result in "no substantial lessening of competition".

The regulatory body had previously found no competition issues in relation to other product areas such as music and DVD.

Borders currently operates 22 stores in Australia and four in New Zealand; ARW's retail operations are built around the Australian book chain Angus & Robertson, which has 182 outlets, and the 66-strong Whitcoulls chain in New Zealand.