The NZCC has issued the following selected media releases:

Industry regulation and regulatory control

Commission approves amendment to costs Transpower can recover for Otahuhu Substation project

The NZCC has approved an amendment to the Major Capital Expenditure Allowance for the Otahuhu Substation Diversity Project. The maximum amount of expenditure that Transpower can now recover from consumers has increased from $99.0 million to $106.1 million (all in 2009 dollars).

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Commission seeks public comment on Orion Customised Price-Quality Path Proposal

The NZCC has commenced the process for setting new maximum prices and new quality standards for Orion New Zealand Limited. Orion has submitted a Customised Price-Quality Path proposal to change the maximum prices that Canterbury consumers will pay for electricity lines services and to set new required quality standards for those services. Interested parties had until 17 May 2013 to comment on the process paper.

The NZCC has also released an issues paper setting out its preliminary list of issues and 10 questions for Canterbury electricity consumers on the Orion proposal. Submissions on the issues paper close on 24 May 2013.

Click here for information on the process paper and here for more information on the issues paper.

Commission issues draft report on Auckland International Airport

The NZCC has released its draft of a report to the Ministers of Commerce and Transport on the effectiveness of the information disclosure regulatory regime under Part 4 of the Commerce Act in relation to Auckland International Airport.

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Mergers and acquisitions

Commerce Commission declines merger of Hamilton Radiology and Medimaging radiology practices

The NZCC has declined to grant clearance to the formation of a joint venture between Hamilton Radiology and Medimaging. Hamilton Radiology and Medimaging each provide x-rays, ultrasound and other low tech services in Hamilton and Cambridge. In the Waikato region, Hamilton Radiology and Medimaging are the only providers of MRI services.

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Commerce Commission clears Vector to acquire Contact gas metering business

The NZCC has cleared Vector Limited to acquire Contact Energy Limited's natural gas metering business. The acquisition will result in the merger of the two largest suppliers of gas metering services on the North Island's reticulated natural gas distribution network.

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Market behaviour

More penalties in long-running air cargo cartel case

The High Court has ordered three further airlines to pay a combined total of $9.6 million in penalties for their role in the air cargo cartel case brought by the NZCC. This brings the total penalties in the case to over $35 million. The penalty judgments against Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd ($4.3 million), Thai Airways International PLC ($2.7 million), and MASkargo System Berhad Ltd ($2.6 million) were for price fixing in breach of the Commerce Act.

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Telecommunications

Commission announces next step in setting UBA price

The NZCC has released an updated timetable for completing its determination of a cost-based price for wholesale broadband – the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service. Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale announced that the NZCC will hold a conference on 12 and 13 June to test the views expressed by industry in submissions and cross-submissions on the draft UBA determination. The NZCC expects to finalise the UBA determination in August 2013.

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Demand for mobile data doubles for second year in a row says telco report

The NZCC has released its 2012 telecommunications annual monitoring report analysing the state of New Zealand's telecommunications markets. The 2011/12 year was marked by increased activity on mobile devices including smartphones, a mild rebound of investment in the sector, flat company revenues, and a continued fall in market concentration compared to the previous year.

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Consumer issues

Commerce Commission seeks more information on interest rate swaps

The NZCC is seeking more information from farmers and others who entered into a financial derivative product known as interest rate swaps. The NZCC has received complaints primarily from the rural community alleging they were mis-sold the product by certain banks.

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Penalties for souvenir companies that misled tourists with untrue claims

Two companies and two individuals have been convicted and fined a total of $259,000 in the Auckland District Court for manufacturing and selling to visiting Asian tourists a range of high-priced souvenir items that were not what they claimed to be.

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