Regulator pushes back decision on Sky TV-Vodafone merger

Regulator processing new submissions and cross submissions.

Sky Network Television says the date for a decision on its Commerce Commission application to merge with Vodafone New Zealand has been pushed back to December 21 to let the regulator process new submissions and cross submissions.

Sky TV's shares have dropped 15% in the past month and last traded at $4.24. At the end of October the commission said it was in talks with the companies to extend the application timeframe to give them the opportunity to submit on its initial view.

At that stage, the regulator wasn't satisfied the deal wouldn't substantially reduce competition, saying while consumers may benefit from cheap services at first, other broadband and mobile providers could lose the ability to build scale in their businesses and become weaker rivals.

The merged business would also face weak incentives to ensure Sky's services were available to rivals on competitive terms.

Spark New Zealand and Two Degrees Mobile have formally opposed the merger, saying the deal will adversely impact consumers as a result of creating a company willing and able to use premium live sports content to stifle competition.

"The commission continues to take an appropriately thorough approach to this transaction and Sky will continue to provide any additional information sought by the commission as swiftly as possible," Sky says.

(BusinessDesk)