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Commission Exempts Tower Limited From The EIRA

Commission Exempts Tower Limited From The Electricity Industry Reform Act

The Commerce Commission has exempted Tower Ltd and one of its subsidiaries from the application of the cross-ownership rules of the Electricity Industry Reform Act.

Commissioner Cathie Harrison said that Tower had applied to the Commission for exemption to allow it to continue to own and operate electricity distribution networks in its commercial buildings and malls and sell electricity to tenants of its properties. Commission investigations showed that continued ownership would mean that Tower and its subsidiary had cross-involvements with electricity lines and electricity supply businesses that are prohibited by the Act.

Commission Member Cathie Harrison said that the Commission granted the exemption on the grounds that an exemption would not in any way that was more than minimal:

* provide Tower with incentives or opportunities to inhibit competition in the electricity industry; or * allow a relationship between Tower's electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses that would not be at arms length.

The Commission considered that permitting Tower to retain involvements in both electricity line and supply businesses would not defeat the purposes of the Electricity Industry Reform Act. Under the terms of the exemption Tower will not be permitted to charge for distributing electricity.


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