Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Court of Appeal confirms NZ Bus Comm. Act Breach

Court of Appeal confirms NZ Bus Commerce Act Breach

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling that New Zealand Bus Limited (NZBL) breached section 47 of the Commerce Act, which prohibits business acquisitions that are likely to substantially lessen competition.

In June 2006, the Wellington High Court ruled that NZBL's attempted purchase of the 74% of Mana Coach Services that it did not already own breached section 47 of the Commerce Act. The Court determined that the acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition in the Wellington regional market for rights to supply subsidised scheduled public and school bus services.

The High Court found that NZBL had breached the Commerce Act when its offer to buy the shares became unconditional. The High Court also found that certain vendors of the Mana shares had breached the Act as accessories to the prohibited acquisition. However, the Court refused to impose liability against NZBL's parent Infratil for its role in the transaction.

The High Court subsequently ordered NZBL to pay $500,000 in penalties and around $600,000 in litigation costs.

NZBL and Infratil appealed the High Court's decisions on liability, penalty and costs. The Commerce Commission cross-appealed the level of penalty ordered against NZBL and the Court's decision not to impose liability on Infratil.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed NZBL's appeal from the High Court's finding that NZBL breached section 47. All other issues raised in the appeal proceedings remain to be determined by the Court of Appeal.

Commerce Commission Chair Paula Rebstock says "Although there are still further decisions to come relating to liability and penalties, this finding confirms the Commission's view that a purchase of Mana Coach services by NZBL would lessen competition in scheduled public bus and school services in the Wellington region."

"The is important because competition is one of the most effective means of enabling lower prices and better services to consumers," says Ms Rebstock.

Background
New Zealand Bus Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Infratil Limited. It is the 100% holding company for Wellington City Transport Limited, Cityline (NZ) Limited and Transportation Auckland Corporation Limited, which operate the New Zealand bus businesses known as Stagecoach Wellington, Cityline Hutt Valley and Stagecoach Auckland.

Mana Coach Services was, at the time of the breach, a family owned and managed business that operated Mana Coach Services and Newlands Buses. It is now owned by Bancorp New Zealand Limited, a merchant bank business. .Mana Coach Services operates commuter and passenger bus services within north Wellington, Porirua and the Kapiti coast, as well as a service to the Paraparaumu rail line for Wellington city connections, and coach charter business.

Commerce Act
Under section 47 of the Commerce Act, a person must not acquire assets of a business or shares if the acquisition would have, or would be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Westpac: Sets Out Plan To Go Cheque-Free

Westpac NZ has announced details of its plan to phase out cheques, after signalling in May that it would be supporting a move to other forms of payment. Cheques will cease to be available as a means of payment after 25 June 2021. Westpac NZ General ... More>>

ALSO:

NZTA: Major New Zealand Upgrade Programme Projects Go To Tender

Two major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects are beginning tenders for construction. The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $6.8 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The first Auckland ... More>>

Reserve Bank: RBNZ Seeks To Preserve Benefits Of Cash

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Double-Dip Recession Next Year, But Housing Rolls On

New Zealand's economy is expected to slip back into recession early next year as delayed job losses, falling consumer spending, and the absence of international tourists bites into growth. More>>

ALSO:

Microsoft New Zealand: Microsoft Expands “Highway To A Hundred Unicorns” Initiative To Support Startups In Asia Pacific

New Zealand, 14 October 2020 – Today Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a Hundred Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where 56 startups were ... More>>

Fonterra: Farmers Taking Another Step Towards New Zealand’s Low Emissions Food Production

They’re hot off the press and intended to help take the heat out of climate change. Fonterra farmers are already among the world’s most sustainable producers of milk and now have an additional tool in their sustainability toolbox. Over the last few ... More>>

ALSO:



Courts: Businessman Eric Watson Sentenced To A Four-Month Jail Term

New Zealand businessman Eric Watson has been sentenced to a four-month jail term in the UK for contempt of court, TVNZ reports. More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Falls By 4.0 Percentage Points, To 64.6% In Second Quarter Of 2020

The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – fell by 4.0 percentage points, to 64.6%, in the second quarter of 2020, its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. Across the OECD area, 560 million persons ... More>>

Spark: Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s CBD with the power of 5G. 5G is ... More>>

Stats NZ: Monthly Migration Remains Low

Since the border closed in late-March 2020, net migration has averaged about 300 a month, Stats NZ said today. In the five months from April to August 2020, overall net migration was provisionally estimated at 1,700. This was made up of a net gain ... More>>

University of Canterbury: Proglacial Lakes Are Accelerating Glacier Ice Loss

Lake Tasman, New Zealand | 2016 | Photo: Dr Jenna Sutherland Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study. But the effects of these glacial ... More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Sells China Farms

Fonterra has agreed to sell its China farms for a total of $555 million (RMB 2.5 billion*1), after successfully developing the farms alongside local partners. Inner Mongolia Natural Dairy Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Youran Dairy Group Limited ... More>>

ALSO: