New Zealand’s largest pay-TV provider, Sky Network Television is in talks with 2degrees, the country’s number three mobile player, about a content deal. This is an effort on Sky’s part to address the increasing concern among the service providers, following its proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand, the country’s largest service provider.
Sky, which has a near monopoly in the country, is already in the process of getting merged with Vodafone New Zealand. (See: Vodafone New Zealand To Merge With Sky Network Television.)
This combination of a telecom service provider and a media company has led to a competitive concern among other service providers in the country. Sky is trying to convince the competition that the merger won’t be a threat to competition in the broadband and mobile markets. Service providers have complained against Vodafone offering unlimited Sky content for a year. Vodafone responded that it purchased products from Sky “under the same wholesale terms as offered to other partners,” Stuff report says.
Spark, the country’s second service provider, complained to Antitrust regulator about the proposed merger and has requested that the deal should be blocked unless Sky changes the way it offers wholesale content to rivals. The Commerce Commission is expected to make a decision on the merger next month.
Vodafone has 39% marketshare in New Zealand’s mobile market. The merger comes at a time when Sky faces increasing competition from online media streaming services like Netflix which has been growing in the entire APAC region. Recently Netflix launched operations in India.