The Australian competition watchdog says it will oppose the National Australia Bank's takeover bid for AXA Asia Pacific, but it will allow AMP's rival bid.
National Australia Bank is set to take control of AXA Asia Pacific's Australian and New Zealand assets after securing an exclusive and binding deal with the funds manager.
Its $A14 billion offer trumped a previous $A13 billion rival bid from AMP.
But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Tuesday ruled that NAB's takeover of AXA would reduce competition in the retail investment market because of the bank's strong presence in that area, the ABC reports.
The commission denies it is trying to stop the main banks expanding and says it will judge the big banks' proposed acquisitions on a case-by-case basis.