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TelstraClear sale to Vodafone NZ gets watchdog nod

The sale of TelstraClear to Vodafone New Zealand has been given the all clear by the NZ regulator.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) has cleared the sale of Telstra's New Zealand subsidiary TelstraClear to Vodafone New Zealand for NZ$840 million (AU$660 million).

The Australian telecommunications giant announced in July that it would pull out of New Zealand by selling TelstraClear, its customer base and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) assets to Vodafone NZ, subject to regulatory approval.

The NZCC this morning cleared the proposed sale, after assessing the impact that it would have on fixed-line call and broadband services, as well as on mobile phone services and spectrum management.

NZCC chair Dr Mark Berry concluded that by taking over TelstraClear, Vodafone NZ would still face strong competition in the country.

"In reaching its decision, the commission considered that the merged entity would continue to face competition from Telecom, as well as Orcon, Slingshot, and other smaller businesses in providing fixed-line voice and broadband services to residential and small-business customers," he said in a statement.

The NZCC did, however, limit the amount of spectrum that Vodafone would acquire from TelstraClear as part of the sale. Some of the spectrum held by TelstraClear will be transferred to Telstra for the company to sell off to other companies.

The deal already has the approval of both the Overseas Investment Office and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The news comes at the same time as Vodafone's Australian joint-venture plans to cut approximately 10 percent of its workforce — 500 staff — in the coming months, as the telecommunications company looks to turn its fortune around.

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