The Commission has just released a Statement of Preliminary Issues relating to an application by Infratil seeking clearance to acquire up to 50% of the shares in Vodafone New Zealand.
And on its deliberations on the effects of the proposed acquisition on market competition, the Commission’s statement raises the issue of Infratil’s 51% share in telecommunications services company Trustpower and that company’s recently announced arrangement with New Zealand’s largest telco Spark to offer wireless broadband and mobile services.
As reported by iTWire earlier this month, Vodafone New Zealand has been bought by a consortium of long-term investors including Infratil, and Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management for €2.1 billion (NZ$3.59 billion).
The Commission also noted that Infratil in its submission to it had said that Trustpower and Vodafone will continue to operate as separate entities post-acquisition.
And, as reported by iTWire, in a statement when the acquisition was announced, the Vodafone Group, which owns 100% of Vodafone New Zealand, said once the sale was finalised, it would enter into a multi-year partner marketing arrangement which would include “preferential roaming arrangements, access to Vodafone’s global Internet of Things platform and central procurement functions, plus a range of services for business and consumer markets”.
And Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said at the time that “Infratil has a proven track record of establishing long-term partnerships to realise the growth potential of our investee companies, and we are particularly pleased to have secured this opportunity with Vodafone NZ”.
"We are also excited to be introducing some local ownership, which will be important in terms of how we work together to grow the business over the coming years.”
The Commerce Commission has invited “interested parties” to provide comments on the likely competitive effects of the proposed acquisition by 14 June.