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Commerce Commission Closes Investigation

Commerce Commission Closes Investigation

The Commerce Commission has closed an investigation into a potential breach of a confidentiality order. The investigation followed the disclosure in the Independent and the National Business Review in August 2009 of details of a confidential commercial interconnection agreement between 2degrees and Vodafone.

The Independent article containing this information named Vodafone as the source of the information. The Independent would not provide further details of how it obtained this information, claiming protection under section 68(1) of the Evidence Act from being required to identify a source where an assurance of confidentiality has been provided.

The Commission has been advised by Vodafone that they were satisfied that there was no authorised leak of the confidential information. Vodafone have also provided an assurance to the Commission that they will remind all of their staff that breaches of confidence are unacceptable.

The Commission has also been advised by 2degrees that they were confident that the leaked information did not come from within 2degrees.

“The Commission has not been able to establish the source of the potential breach” said Dr Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner. “As a result, and in light of the above assurances, the Commission has decided to close the investigation. However, if further relevant information comes to light, the Commission will considerᾠre-opening the investigation.

Parties often supply the Commission with information that is highly commercially sensitive. Parties need to be able to trust that the Commission has robust processes in place to ensure that confidential information is treated appropriately.

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“The Commission reiterates its expectation that all parties will have processes in place to ensure that confidential information is handled appropriately in the context of Commission investigations. The Commission also expects parties to regularly remind their staff of the importance of preserving the confidentiality of such infor῭ation, said Dr Patterson.

On 13 August 2009, the Commission confirmed that commercial interconnection agreements provided to the Commission should still be confidential. This protection remains in place. Any re-publication of the information risks breaching the Commission’s Section 100 order.

ends

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