Chorus CEO denies lobbying Key
The CEO of internet cable provider Chorus, denies lobbying Prime Minister John Key to step in and prevent the Commerce Commission’s recommendation for Chorus wholesale copper prices to be slashed by up to 25%.
Speaking on TV3’s “The Nation” Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe said he did not speak with Mr Key about the Commerce Commission’s recommendation. He said Mr Key’s comment of Chorus possibly “going under” if the recommendation went ahead were probably based on his own number crunching.
“No we haven't discussed it with the Prime Minister,”
"He's obviously looked and done some analysis of the thing and that’s the conclusion that he's come to,” said Mr Ratcliffe.
When asked later if he had talked to Government officials or Ministers about the Commerce Commission’s recommendations, Mr Ratcliffe said he did.
“Of course we've met government officials on a range of issues,
“Yes we have met them,” he said
CEO of Consumer New Zealand and spokesperson for the Coaltion For Fair Internet Pricing, Sue Chetwin says talking of Chorus being in financial trouble isn’t reflected on the share market.
“That company [Chorus] made a 171 million dollars last year and paid out nearly 100 million dollars in dividends to its shareholders.
“So if it's a company going broke, it certainly doesn’t look like it, and its share price yesterday was at $2.88 so the market seems to think that that company is pretty good,” said Ms Chetwin
She also said the Government should not be interfering with the Commerce Commission as it undermines their independence, and that everyone should be able to make their views about copper pricing known.
“We've had the government stepping in and saying no no no we're not going to do that, we're going to interfere with the Commerce Commission, the independent regulator and say what the price is going to be within a very limited range,
“What we should have is Chorus and us making our views known to the Commerce Commission,” said Ms Chetwin