Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says the watchdog will follow closely any developments in the proposed merger of retail giants David Jones Ltd and Myer Ltd.
Mr Sims made the comments releasing the ACCC's compliance and enforcement policy for 2014, which outlines the watchdog's priority areas for the year and sets out the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue matters.
In the area of mergers, Mr Sims said that the ACCC expected a number of mergers and acquisitions to raise challenging issues for the regulator during 2014.
He specifically cited the recent David Jones-Myer merger speculation as an example of a matter that "would need to be closely reviewed if it were to formally proceed".
Only yesterday, Myer renewed its push to discuss a potential merger with the board of David Jones, releasing a letter to chairman Peter Mason that extols the benefit of a tie-up.
At the same time, Myer abandoned the search for a new CEO and extended the contract of chief executive officer Bernie Brookes for an open term. Brookes said he would put himself forward as a potential head of the merged entity.
Earlier this month the ACCC said it had not formed a view on whether a possible merger between Myer and David Jones would raise competition issues.