The NZCC has issued the following media releases:

Regulatory reform

Consumer law modernised and extended

The NZCC says it’s ready to enforce the changes enacted by the passage of the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2013, and urges businesses to know the new ground rules and ensure they act within the law. NZCC Chairman Dr Mark Berry says the changes are a significant modernisation and urges businesses to act now to ensure they comply.

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Industry regulation and regulatory control

NZCC releases data on interchange and credit card settlements

The NZCC has released its ‘Evaluation of the 2009 interchange and credit card settlements’. This paper outlines the agreement the NZCC reached with banks and financial institutions in relation to the setting of fees charged to merchants/retailers for accepting credit card payments and how this impacted the market between 2010/11 and 2012/13.

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Mergers and acquisitions

Thermo Fisher cleared to acquire Life Technologies subject to a divestment undertaking

The NZCC has cleared Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Thermo Fisher) to acquire Life Technologies Corporation (Life Technologies). The clearance is conditional on Thermo Fisher selling its foetal bovine serum business to a third party. Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies both operate in the life sciences industry. They produce a wide range of products for scientific applications. Areas of product overlap include cell culture, transplant diagnostics, protein and molecular biology.

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Statement of preliminary issues for USG’s and Boral’s application to form a joint venture

The NZCC has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to USG Corporation’s and Boral Limited’s joint application seeking clearance to enter into a joint venture.

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Statement of preliminary issues for IAG’s application to acquire 100% of the shares in Lumley

The NZCC has published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from IAG (NZ) Holdings Limited to acquire 100% of the shares in Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited.

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Bauer given clearance to acquire magazine titles

The NZCC has cleared Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP to acquire all of the assets used by APN Specialist Publications NZ Limited in the publication of the New Zealand editions of the following magazines: New Zealand Woman’s Weekly; Simply You; Simply You Living; New Zealand Listener; and Crème. The NZCC considered the impact of the proposed acquisition on the production and supply of magazines, including the content of magazines and the sale of advertising.

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Telecommunications

NZCC releases latest retail price benchmarking for telco services

The NZCC has released its third report benchmarking New Zealand retail prices for fixed-line phone and broadband services against international prices. Retail price benchmarking gives an indication of the competitiveness of New Zealand telecommunications markets by comparing prices paid for telecommunications services by New Zealand customers with the prices paid by customers in other OECD countries.

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NZCC releases UBA process and issues paper

The NZCC has released a paper which outlines the proposed process for pricing Chorus’ wholesale broadband – the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service. The NZCC determined the UBA price in November at $10.92, according to the Telecommunications Act’s Initial Pricing Principle, that is, by international benchmarking. The industry has since called for the NZCC to reassess that price according to the Final Pricing Principle, by undertaking an engineering model calculation of UBA costs in New Zealand.

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Consumer issues

NZCC closes Air New Zealand credit card surcharge investigation

The NZCC has concluded an investigation into credit card surcharging by Air New Zealand and found that the airline has not engaged in conduct likely to breach the Fair Trading Act (FTA). The NZCC investigated whether Air New Zealand’s conduct and representations about the card payment fee it charges to customers purchasing airfares by credit or debit card is false or misleading and in breach of the FTA. The NZCC formed the opinion it was neither misleading nor liable to mislead the public.

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Finance company fined for its part in toxic water claims investigation

Auckland based finance company Tiny Terms Limited has been fined $77,200 in the Auckland District Court for its part in the door to door sale of water filters by Love Springs Limited. As a creditor Tiny Terms was required to disclose information about the terms of the contract to debtors and to do so in a manner that could be clearly and easily understood. Tiny Terms failed to do this and as a result breached sections 17 and 32 of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. Tiny Terms also breached the Fair Trading Act by trying to enforce these contracts where it had no right to do so because of its inadequate disclosure.

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