Welcome from Brent Alderton – November 2016

Welcome to the November edition of Bulletin.

It is full steam ahead at the Commission as we work towards completing a number of big projects.

We have published our draft decision on the proposed merger of New Zealand’s two largest newspaper networks and news websites. We looked at the impact of the NZME and Fairfax merger on competition in advertising and reader markets for a number of media platforms as well as the overall impact on quality and plurality (diversity of voices). 

Our preliminary view is that we should decline to authorise the merger. Our draft decision can be found on our website and submissions are due by Tuesday 22 November.

The other significant merger we have under consideration is of Vodafone Europe B.V and Sky Network Television Ltd. We sent these companies a Letter of Unresolved Issues and had asked for submissions by Friday, 11 November with the final decision due on 21 December 2016.

This month’s Bulletin reports on recent consumer work including how our investigation resulted in $600,000 being returned to New Zealand trademark holders that were misled, our recent lender seminars, the Consumer Rights Day and the latest developments in our mobile trader project.

On the regulatory front, a key piece of work is the publication of our final decisions on the Input Methodologies review on 15 December. We discuss this and consultations in the telecommunications sector later in this issue.

Alongside our usual work, over the past month we have launched the Commission’s vision and strategy for the next 5 years. We used our October stakeholder events in Wellington and Auckland to share our strategy externally. The strategy has been received positively by our stakeholders and I’m really excited to have an overarching view of our organisation’s future.

Ultimately our overarching goal is to make New Zealanders better off. We aim to do this by playing our part in ensuring markets work well and consumers and businesses are confident participants in those markets. If you are interested in reading our strategy, it is available to download from our website.