NZ: “TVNZ, Sky JV OK”

The Commerce Commission has completed its investigation into the joint venture between Television New Zealand Limited (TVNZ) and Sky Network Television Limited (Sky) finding the pay TV market will not be less competitive as a result of the venture.

In November 2011, TVNZ entered into a joint venture agreement with Sky to launch a new low-cost subscription TV service, known as Igloo.

The Commission received a number of complaints that the joint venture had the potential to substantially lessen competition. It opened an investigation to determine whether there was any likely breach of sections 47 or 27 of the Commerce Act. Now, the Commission advised TVNZ and Sky that it had found no likely breach.

Chair Mark Berry said the Commission had done a full investigation and found that the joint venture would make little difference to the level of competition in the pay TV market. “Our role in this investigation was not to judge the level of competition in the market, but whether the joint venture would change the level of competition. When we looked at two possible future scenarios, one with TVNZ’s involvement in the joint venture, and one without, we found the level of competition was essentially unchanged.”

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