Commerce Commission approves Infratil's Vodafone NZ purchase

Vodafone
Vodafone is one of the country's biggest telcos. Photo credit: Getty

The Commerce Commission says Infratil's purchase of a significant stake in Vodafone NZ won't lessen competition.

Infratil already owns 51 percent of Trustpower, which in recent years has expanded into the telecommunications market. 

While Infratil said it would keep Trustpower and Vodafone as separate companies, the commission analysed the effects on the market as if they were one, and found competition would remain strong.

"While Trustpower has in the past been an aggressive competitor in residential broadband, with a particular focus on energy and broadband bundles, several other multi-utility providers have similarly emerged including Vocus, Nova Energy and Contact Energy," said chair Anna Rawlings.

"2Degrees and Stuff are also competing effectively in the residential broadband market alongside Spark and MyRepublic."

Infratil and Canadian company Brookfield are planning to buy Vodafone NZ from its British parent company for $3.4 billion. Each would hold 49.9 percent of shares, with the rest going to Vodafone NZ executives.

Infratil had previously said it would consider selling its majority share in Trustpower if the Commerce Commission had a problem with it owning two major players in the market.

But even in regions where the two separate companies - Vodafone and Trustpower - would dominate broadband and phone provision, Rawlings said there was sufficient competition.

"Consistent with the mobile market study preliminary findings, we consider competition in mobile markets is generally driven by the three network operators and is therefore unlikely to be affected by Infratil's acquisition. For these reasons, we are satisfied that the proposed transaction should be granted clearance."

Infratil and Canadian company Brookfield are planning to buy Vodafone NZ from its British parent company for $3.4 billion. Each would hold 49.9 percent of shares, with the rest going to Vodafone NZ executives.

Newshub.

 

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