Watchdog delays Vodafone-TelstraClear decision, again
The Commerce Commission has delayed its verdict on Vodafone's TelstraClear takeover until Tuesday October 30.
The watchdog had been to release a ruling today, after delaying from its original date for a decision on September 7 citiing the complexity of the application.
Industry observers expect the deal to be approved. Vodafone has made a solid case that in the fibre/IP world, it faces competition from not just Telecom, but the likes of IBM, HP, Datacom and other IT services companies.
The question, however, is whether the Commission will put any conditions on the takeover, such as requiring Vodafone to sell some of its spectrum or TelstraClear's.
This morning, a spokeswoman would only offer, "The decision has been delayed to allow us more time to complete our analysis."
Sept 7: The Commerce Commission has delayed its decision on Vodafone's $840 million takeover of TelstraClear until October 23.
A spokeswoman told NBR a decision had originally been due today, but the regulator needs more time to analyse the deal "because of the technical complexities of the market."
Yesterday, the Commerce Commission published a limited amount of documentation from Vodafone's clearance application. The company outlined drives to cut costs by eliminating double-ups in management and back-office roles, and utilising TelstraClear spectrum (in ways not detailed). It also said TelstraClear's fibre and other network infrastructure would reduce reliance on Chorus.
This morning, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners told NBR he saw no major roadblocks to the deal.
Mr Stanners did eek out a little more detail on post-merger life, should the acquisition be approved. Vodafone would look at extending TelstraClear's T-Box (a Sky TV MySky clone) from HFC areas (Wellington and Christchurch) to areas covered by the UFB rollout.
RAW DATA: Vodafone's clearance application to buy TelstraClear (public version; PDF)