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mm officially weighs in on Vodafone/Sky merger

The Commerce Commission has today released its Statement of Preliminary Issues following the official announcement of the proposed merger of Vodafone and Sky.

The statement of preliminary issues outlines the key competition issues that the Commission currently considers will be important in deciding whether or not to grant clearance to the proposed merger. Public versions of both applications are available on the Commission’s Clearances Register.

Sky is seeking clearance to acquire up to 100% of the assets and/or shares of Vodafone New Zealand. In a separate application, Vodafone Europe B.V. is seeking clearance to acquire up to 51% of the shares in Sky.

The proposed transaction will combine Vodafone's and Sky's complementary businesses in New Zealand to create an entity that combines Vodafone's mobile and fixed telecommunication networks with Sky's TV offering.

“While we have received two separate applications for clearance (for the two separate acquisitions), the Commission is considering the applications together,” a statement from the Commerce Commission read.

The Commission has also updated its Clearances Register to reflect the indicative timeframe for its decision on the proposed merger.

It has been agreed with Vodafone and Sky that the Commission will make a decision by 11 November 2016.

However, if the investigation does not identify any issues, the Commission may make an earlier decision, it says.

When considering a proposed merger, 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,” the Commission explains.

The Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on the likely competitive effects of the proposed merger.

Submissions can be sent by email to [email protected] with the reference Vodafone/Sky in the subject line. Any submissions should be received by 28 July 2016.

A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the clearances page.

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