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Statement of Preliminary Issues released for Spark / TeamTalk merger

31 March 2017

The Commerce Commission has published a Statement of Preliminary Issues relating to Spark New Zealand Trading Limited’s proposed acquisition of TeamTalk Limited.

The statement of preliminary issues outlines the key competition issues that the Commission currently considers will be important in deciding whether or not to grant clearance to the proposed merger. A copy can be found on the Commission’s Clearances Register.

The Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on the likely competitive effects of Spark’s proposed acquisition of TeamTalk. Submissions can be sent by email to registrar@comcom.govt.nz with the reference Spark / TeamTalk in the subject line. Any submissions should be received by 14 April 2017.

The Commission has also updated its Clearances Register to reflect the indicative timeframe for its decision on the proposed merger. We have agreed with Spark that we will make a decision by 22 May 2016. However, this date may change as our investigation progresses. In particular, if we need to test and consider the issues identified above further, the decision date is likely to extend.

Background

Spark New Zealand Trading Limited is a telecommunications company offering fixed and mobile telecommunications services in New Zealand. It is seeking clearance to acquire, either directly or indirectly, up to 100% of the shares of TeamTalk Limited.

When considering a proposed merger, the Commission must determine whether the competition that would be lost with the merger would be substantial.

We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the clearances page.