The rumours were started by a tweet from New Zealand ISP, Voyager Internet, which speculated that a deal had already been signed.
New Zealand commentators suggest that, without a mobile division, TelstraClear will struggle and that Telstra had looked at buying Vodafone NZ, which is rumoured to have been up for sale.
Telecommunications Users Association CEO, Paul Brislen, told the Dominion Post: "Either Telstra needs to put up and invest, or it's time to call it a day and by the sounds of it, having looked at Vodafone NZ and not wanting to pay the asking price, it would seem a reverse offer is on the table."
Certainly, TelstraClear is going backward. For the year to 30 June 2011 Telstra reported TelstraClear revenues of $A514m, down from $A529m the previous year and EBIT contribution a negative $A28m, up from negative $A14m in FY2010.
According to a Telecom NZ presentation to investors last September, TelstraClear had 14 percent of the fixed voice market, 16 percent of fixed broadband and a negligible share of the mobile and ICT markets.
TelstraClear started life in 1990 as Clear Communications, the first (and only) major fixed line infrastructure based competitor to the newly privatised Telecom NZ in a newly deregulated market. However absent a telecoms regulatory regime designed to guarantee interconnect like Australia's it suffered a protracted battle to get interconnect. This dragged on for years and went all the way to the ultimate legal authority of the British Commonwealth - the Privy Council in London.
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