The Commerce Commission has opened an investigation into a potential breach of a confidentiality order over the interconnection agreement between Vodafone and mobile challenger 2 Degrees.
It has also declined a request from Vodafone that the agreement be made public.
"The commission’s use of confidentiality orders in this case has been the subject of public comment in recent weeks. As part of the mobile termination rates investigation the Commission has received a wide range of confidential information, including commercial interconnection agreements," the commission says in a statement released tonight.
"Telecom, Vodafone and 2 Degrees all requested the commission treat the agreements they provided to the commission as confidential. Recently Vodafone requested the agreement it has with 2 Degrees be made public. 2 Degrees has requested that the agreement remain confidential."
Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson says the commission aims to make all information publicly available. However, confidentiality means this is not always possible.
“The Commission considers and comes to its own conclusions about whether information does indeed require confidentiality protections. Claims for confidentiality are balanced against the need for a transparent and informed decision-making process. However, when confidentiality is necessary, it is important that all parties can respect and trust that the process and protections are robust,” Patterson says.
The National Business Review and The Independent both published details of the interconnection agreement last week. The commission then ordered, under section 100 of the Commerce Act, that the stories to be removed from websites and ordered other media not to republish the contents.