Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand will no longer go ahead with a NZD1.3 billion ($936 million) merger, which had been blocked by the commerce regulator in February due to concerns it would “substantially lessen competition”.
News the troubled deal had been scrapped comes despite the fact New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office had given it the green light in April.
The parties have also decided to withdraw their appeal of the Commerce Commission decision, a statement on the country’s stock exchange said.
“Sky and Vodafone New Zealand will continue to work together to strengthen our commercial relationship for the benefit of the customers and the shareholders of our respective organisations,” it added.
The proposed merger was first announced in June 2016, as the companies looked to create a leading integrated telecommunications and media group in New Zealand. The new entity would also have a strong position in premium sports content in the country.
The proposal was met by stiff opposition from rivals, including Spark, 2 Degrees and Internet NZ, which sucessfully filed applications to the High Court seeking a stay on the merger in the event the Commerce Commission cleared the deal.