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Commission will give preliminary view on dairy

The Commerce Commission will publish its draft determination on the proposed merger of the Dairy Board and nine dairy companies on August 5.

Commissioner Dr Kate Brown today released the Commission's timetable for its investigation.

June 21 Commission received the application for authorisation of the "mega-merger". Under the proposal, the new company could own all the assets of the New Zealand Dairy Board, Kaikoura Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, Kiwi Co-operative Dairies Company Limited, Marlborough Cheese Co-operative Limited, The New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, Northland Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, South Island Dairy Co-operative Limited, Tasman Milk Products Limited, Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company Limited and Westland Co-operative Dairy Company Limited.

August 5 Commission to publish draft determination. The draft determination will give interested parties a clear indication of what the Commission sees as the relevant issues and where it wants further information, and will give the Commission's preliminary view that, based on information currently available, it would or would not authorise the proposal.

By August 19 Interested parties to make submissions on the draft determination.

By August 26 Experts employed by interested parties submissions on the draft determination.

September 8-10 Conference where interested parties can provide further information and the Commission will ask questions. Public and media can observe and report.

September 28 Commission will release its final decision.

NB: This is a two-week extension on the date given when the Commission received the application. "The proposal is to merge all the main players in one of New Zealand's key industries," Dr Brown said. "It has the potential to have major impact on the wider economy. The Commission will not rush this decision. We will investigate it thoroughly and will allocate the time and resources necessary to do so."

Relevant documents available from the Commission include:

Public copies of the application. Business Acquisitions Guidelines Conference procedures Guidelines to the Analysis of Public Benefits and Detriments

Documents that will be available at later dates:

Draft determination, from August 5 Submissions from interested parties, after August 19 Submissions from experts, after August 26 Submissions to the conference, after they are presented at the conference Final decision, from September 28

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