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Sky NZ, Vodafone appeal against blocked merger

Pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand and telecommunications company Vodafone New Zealand have filed appeals with the High Court against the Commerce Commission’s decision to block a merger between the two businesses.

Sky said that its appeal would enable it to assess the commission’s reasons for declining the merger before deciding on its next move.

The commission is expected to give its reasons in the coming weeks, Sky added.

Commission chair Mark Berry outlined the regulator’s concerns about the impact of the proposed merger on competition in the broadband and broadcast markets in a letter in October. The commission said last month that subsequent submissions had not resolved the concerns.

Berry said at the time that the deal would create a “full-service telecommunications provider in New Zealand owning all premium sports content.”