ComCom delays ruling over Sky/Vodafone NZ merger

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

New Zealand regulator has pushed back deadline for ruling until February due to volume of submissions it received

A decision over the proposed merger between Sky and Vodafone New Zealand has been pushed back until February by the Commerce Commission (ComCom).

ComCom said it will reach a decision about the deal on 23 February 2017 due to a large number of submissions from interested party. It had been set to make a ruling on 21 December 2016.

The $2.4 billion deal between mobile carrier Vodafone and Sky Network, not related to British TV company BskyB, was first announced in June, but both parties have agreed to ComCom’s new deadline.

The deal will see Sky buying Vodafone, but the latter will will own 51% of the combined unit, which will include its 2.35 million mobile customers and more than half a million fixed line base, plus Sky’s 830,000 subscribers.

Both Spark New Zealand and Two Degrees Mobile have already expressed their formal opposition to the merger, claiming it will stifle competition.

In a statement, Sky said it has agreed to the extension for "the significant volume of material that the Commerce Commission needs to review in light of submissions from multiple third parties, and the commission's heavy workload in December.

"The Commission continues to take an appropriately thorough approach to this transaction and Sky accepts the need for more time to complete its deliberations."