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End of September for final Air NZ determinations

Media Release

Issued 9 September 2003-04 / 030

Air New Zealand and Qantas: Commission confirms end of September for final determinations

The Commerce Commission today confirmed it was aiming to release its final determinations relating to the proposed strategic alliance between Air New Zealand and Qantas at the end of the month. The Commission's Australian counterparts, the ACCC, today released its decision to decline to authorise the proposed arrangement.

Commission Acting Chair Paula Rebstock said the Commission is considering a wealth of information delivered at its recent six day conference, and aims to deliver its final determinations at the end of the month. Ms Rebstock said both agencies have managed their processes independently from each other and each agency makes its own decision.

"For efficiency, we have shared some relevant information, but only relating to markets where there is common interest. The processes are independent of each other," said Ms Rebstock.

Ms Rebstock said a significant difference for the Commission and the ACCC is the number of markets that are considered. She said the alliance has an impact on a greater number of markets in New Zealand. She added that the New Zealand Commerce Commission is also required, where possible, to quantify the benefits and detriments of the proposed alliance.

"The Commission's role is to determine whether the proposed alliance would result in a substantial lessening of competition in any of the markets affected and, if so, whether the detriments flowing from this lessening of competition are outweighed by the public benefits resulting from the alliance."

ENDS

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