The Commerce Commission says a proposed freight tie-up between Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms is unlikely to harm competition in the sector.
The Kotahi partnership aims to coordinate domestic and international freight services to ensure better shipping schedules and bigger ships, with other importers and exporters being invited to become partners and customers in the future.
Opponents fear the proposal will squeeze smaller exporters out of the market.
But the Commerce Commission, says none of the arrangements proposed is likely to lessen competition, or breach the Commerce Act.
It says the proposal therefore does not need an authorisation under the Commerce Act, but it can decide to reopen matters if the facts change and a substantial lessening of competition arises.