SKY, Vodafone submit merger application

SKY, Vodafone submit merger application

Vodafone and SKY TV have officially submitted their application to merge into one combined group to the Commerce Commission.

In the application, they say the new company will continue to sell services and products under the existing brands, although there will also be bundled services.

The commission needs to make sure any merger doesn't substantially decrease competition in the market. 

If successful, Vodafone UK would own 51 percent of the New Zealand business, with the rest of the shares on the NZX.

In the application, the two companies argue that the proposed combined group would not lessen competition in the market, because:

The application also points out that the main way that content is now being delivered is over the internet, citing examples like Netflix and Lightbox. It says the merger of the two businesses is "complementary".

In its conclusion the application says "there is no basis upon which to conclude there is any likelihood that: the combined group would cease to offer content to resellers and require all SKY customers to use Vodafone telecommunications, or the combined group's bundles would harm competition in a market".

"Even if there was (which is denied), there is no basis to conclude that the combined group could then increase price/drop services."

Vodafone and SKY have teamed up in the past, with Spark managing director Simon Moutter saying the combined group wouldn't have an unfair advantage.