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Spectrum auction postponed for court action

Office of Hon Dr Michael Cullen

Spectrum auction postponed for court action

The auction of the 2GHz spectrum has been postponed pending the Court of Appeal's decision on the appeals of the New Zealand Maori Council and Mrs Rangiaho Everton.

Their applications are set down for hearing at 10 am today.

Announcing the postponement, Acting Communications Minister [Spectrum Only] Michael Cullen said it would be irresponsible to proceed until the Court had handed down its decision.

"The auction concludes when there are two clear bidding rounds. Round Six was clear. Had Round Seven, which was due to begin today at 9am and end at 11am, also been clear, the Secretary of Commerce would have been under a binding contractual obligation to sell," Dr Cullen said.

"I am advised that the risk that it would be clear was low but could not be entirely discounted and that, under these circumstances, it was better and cleaner to postpone Round Seven until the legal challenges had been dealt with."

The bidders were notified of the Government's decision this morning through the Ministry of Economic Development's website.

Bidding will resume at 9am on the first working day after the Court of Appeal has delivered its judgement, assuming the Court finds in favour of the Crown.

"If the finding is for the appellants, obviously the Crown will comply with any order made by the Court," Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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