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Franks Can’t Count - Cunliffe

David Cunliffe Media Statement
Member of Parliament for Titirangi

13 October 2000

Franks Can’t Count - Cunliffe

“Stephen Franks’ estimate of $300M costs to Telecom from the Fletcher Inquiry Report is fantasy” David Cunliffe, MP for Titirangi, said today.

“Last week Telecom’s own estimate of their kiwi share costs was only $167M and I suspect that is on the high side” David Cunliffe said.

“Previous estimates put the KSO cost nearer $100M. It is a great pity that Telecom did not make a full disclosure earlier,” Mr Cunliffe said. “The Fletcher Inquiry could then have checked the numbers before finalising its report”.

“The bottom line is this – Telecom was sold with the KSO built in. It is already factored into earnings and the share price. It is a legitimate protection of consumer interests which has always been essential,” David Cunliffe said.

“Even more questionable are Stephen Franks’ attempts to quantify the Inquiry’s outcome before key elements have even been decided.

“Still to be resolved are future KSO obligations, the regulatory framework and wholesaling/unbundling issues.

“Maybe Mr Franks has a crystal ball? Or perhaps he is trying to add to the unpatriotic fearmongering that is unnecessarily corrosive of business confidence and the national interest.

“Stephen Franks should refrain from making wild claims in areas he knows little about. Lawyers should leave the numbers to economists” David Cunliffe, an economist and former management consultant, said today.

ENDS

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