​ComCom green lights Spark’s acquisition of 2300MHz spectrum

"The main competitive tension in broadband markets would also continue.”

The Commerce Commission has given clearance for Spark New Zealand to acquire the management rights to 70MHz of radio spectrum in the 2300MHz band from Craig NZ and Woosh NZ.

According to the report, Spark intends to use the spectrum to extend its fixed wireless product offerings with the Commission separately considering whether the acquisition would affect competition for urban and rural broadband customers.

Chair Dr Mark Berry says the Commission is “satisfied” that the acquisition will not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in the affected markets.

“Although this acquisition may lead to Craig not expanding their wireless services, access to the spectrum will enable Spark to provide a wireless alternative for rural customers and those urban customers currently unable to access fibre internet,” Dr Berry adds.

“As a result, this acquisition may have some pro-competitive effects in the market and improve the quality of service to customers on poor quality copper lines. The main competitive tension in broadband markets would also continue.”

Dr Berry says a public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available shortly on the Clearances Register.

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