Sky TV-Vodafone merger decision delayed again as regulator assesses submissions

Sky TV and Vodafone have agreed to the extension to allow for the significant volume of material that the Commerce Commission needs to review

Sky Network Television said the date for a decision on its Commerce Commission application to merge with Vodafone New Zealand has been pushed back to February 23, 2017, from December 21, to give the commission more time to assess a large number of submissions.

Sky TV and Vodafone have agreed to the extension to allow for "the significant volume of material that the Commerce Commission needs to review in light of submissions from multiple third parties, and the commission's heavy workload in December," Auckland-based Sky TV said in a statement. "The commission continues to take an appropriately thorough approach to this transaction and Sky accepts the need for more time to complete its deliberations."

Sky TV's shares last traded at $4.66 and have gained 6.4% this year.

In October, the commission said it 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.

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

(BusinessDesk)