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More Time To Study Dairy "Mega-Merger"

Commission And Interested Parties Get More Time To Study New Information About Dairy "Mega-Merger"

The Commerce Commission has extended its timetable for the dairy "mega-merger" decision so that it and interested parties can have time to consider fully new information to be provided by the Dairy Board and dairy companies.

Commission Acting Chairman Mark Berry said that the draft determination, which will give the Commission's preliminary view, will now be issued on August 27. The conference will be on October 5-8 and the final decision will be issued some weeks after that at a date yet to be finalised.

Mr Berry said that the applicants-the Dairy Board and nine dairy companies-have yet to provide the Commission with full details of what they would divest if they merged into one company. This information is crucial to the Commission's ability to assess the proposal.

"All interested parties must be given a fair opportunity to comment on the relevant information," Mr Berry said. "This proposal has the potential to make huge changes to their industry and their livelihoods.

"It also has the potential to impact on New Zealand's whole economy. Dairying is our biggest industry and the mega-co-op would be the country's biggest company by far.

"It would be irresponsible of the Commission to make such a major decision without having the time to fully analyse new information and without giving interested parties reasonable time to provide informed comment.

"The Commission asked the applicants to agree to an extension of time to allow these things to happen. Today, the applicants agreed to the extension."

Further information will be released by the Commission when it is able to do so.

Background

The Commission's previous timetable had been to issue the draft determination on August 5, hold the conference on September 8-10 and issue its final decision on September 28.

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