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Air NZ – Qantas deal enters next stage of process

Air NZ – Qantas deal enters next stage of process

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today that the draft determinations from the regulatory authorities on both sides of the Tasman declining the Air New Zealand-Qantas deal as currently structured were to be expected.

“The next step of the process is that the airlines have to respond to the concerns raised by the Commerce Commission here and the Australian Competition Consumer Commission. They need authorisation by both to proceed.

“They clearly have a lot of work to do in the conference stage to convince them of the merit of their arguments.”

Dr Cullen said he was a little surprised, as majority shareholder in Air New Zealand, at some of the Commerce Commission’s analysis around the counter-factual argument, particularly its assumptions about the availability of capital for the company given the turbulent financial environment surrounding the aviation industry at the present time and for the foreseeable future.

“I am sure that Air New Zealand and Qantas will be responding vigorously in that area,” he said.

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