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New Zealand: Watchdog probes impact of Vodafone-Sky merger on rivals

 |  July 18, 2016

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission is looking at how the planned merger between Sky Network Television and Vodafone Group’s local unit would impact rivals’ ability to compete against the combined firm, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The watchdog, which issued a statement of “preliminary issues”, said the proposed merger raises both “vertical and conglomerate effects”. It said in a statement: “The commission must determine whether the competition that would be lost with the merger would be substantial. We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.”

Vodafone Group announced in early June plans to merge its operationsin New Zealand with the country’s largest pay-TV provider Sky Network Television, in a move to create “a leading integrated telecommunications and media group.”

The commission invited comments on the likely competitive effects of the proposed merger, with submissions due by 28 July.

Vodafone is the largest mobile operator in New Zealand, with a 40 per cent market share and 2.4 million customers.

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