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Telecom applies for clearance to acquire spectrum

Media Release

Issued 5 March 2001/21

Telecom applies for clearance to acquire spectrum rights

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Telecom New Zealand Limited for clearance to acquire the management rights and licences that it successfully bid for in the recent auction of radio frequency spectrum.

This is the second application from a company involved in the auction. The first was from Vodafone Mobile NZ Limited, which the Commission cleared in December last year.

The auction rules state that management rights and licences cannot be acquired unless the: * proposed acquisition is cleared or authorised by the Commission, or * bidder provides evidence to satisfy the Ministry of Economic Development, which ran the auction, that the proposed acquisition would not breach the Commerce Act.

The Commission's Commerce Act Manager, Geoff Thorn, said that the Commission must determine what markets are relevant to the proposal, and then assess what impact the proposal would have on competition in those markets.

In the Commission's Vodafone decision, the Commission concluded that the relevant markets were those for mobile telephony services and third generation telephony services (3G). 3G mobile services are not currently being offered and the technology is still being developed.

The Act prohibits business acquisitions that result in dominance being acquired or strengthened in any market.

Parties can apply for a clearance, which the Commission will give if it is satisfied that dominance is not acquired or strengthened. The Act gives the Commission 10 working days in which to make its decision. Working day 10 will be March 19.

Public copies of Telecom's application are available from the Commission's Wellington office, level 7 Landcorp House, 101 Lambton Quay.

Media contact: Commerce Act Manager Geoff Thorn Phone work (04) 498 0958, cellphone 021 661 104

Senior Advisor Communications Vincent Cholewa Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 477 0039

Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site www.comcom.govt.nz


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