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Commission Grants Clearance For NEP To Acquire Sky’s Outside Broadcasting Assets

The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for NEP Broadcast Services New Zealand Limited to acquire from Sky Network Television Limited the assets of its outside broadcasting business, Outside Broadcasting Limited.

Chair Anna Rawlings said the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.

Central to the Commission’s decision was its assessment of what Sky would otherwise do if the proposed acquisition did not proceed. In particular, the Commission considered and tested whether there was a realistic prospect that OSB would otherwise continue providing outside broadcasting services in competition with NEP.

“After careful consideration, the Commission is satisfied that there is no realistic prospect that OSB would continue to provide outside broadcasting services if the proposed transaction did not proceed. Rather, we consider it would seek to outsource those services to a third party, most likely NEP” Ms Rawlings said.

“We are also satisfied that, absent the sale to NEP, OSB’s assets were unlikely to be sold to another outside broadcasting provider and used to compete against NEP. Given this, we are satisfied that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen competition when compared to the likely scenario if the transaction did not proceed.”

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission’s case register in the near future.

Background
We will give clearance to a proposed merger if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

Further information explaining how the Commission assesses a merger clearance application is available on our website.

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