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Business Competition media releases

December 1997

Commission starts court action over cancelled cataract operations

19 December 1997

The Commerce Commission is taking court action against the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand and five individual ophthalmologists over their alleged anti-competitive collusion which led to the cancellation of cataract operations to be performed in Invercargill by Australian ophthalmologists.

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Commerce Commission starts court action against Fletcher Challenge companies

16 December 1997

The Commerce Commission has started court action against Fletcher Challenge Limited (FCL), and Fletcher Challenge Energy (FCE), alleging that the companies' acquisitions of shares in the Kupe gas field and other arrangements involving the field breached the Commerce Act.

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Toyota dealer to face trial for price fixing

16 December 1997

Following a Court of Appeal decision today, Auckland Toyota dealer, Giltrap City Toyota, will face a trial to hear allegations that it was involved in price fixing.

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Commission investigates taxi fare price fixing

12 December 1997

In a move affecting all members of the New Zealand Taxi Federation (NZTF), the Commerce Commission has investigated price fixing involving two taxi companies.

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Commerce Commission investigates tertiary education institution mergers

8 December 1997

The Commerce Commission is investigating mergers of tertiary education institutions, and is advising them that they must be aware that they are covered by the Commerce Act.

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November 1997

Trying to stop discounting of promotional beer costs DB Breweries $115,000

28 November 1997

In the Auckland High Court today DB Breweries Limited admitted breaching the Commerce Act by trying to prevent a tavern discounting promotional packs of beer, and the Court imposed a penalty of $110,000 plus $5,000 costs.

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Benmore does not face $20 million penalty

24 November 1997

The Commerce Commission is surprised at incorrect claims that North Island meat company Benmore Products faces $20 million penalties for allegedly price fixing with other North Island meat companies.

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October 1997

Council to change water contracts – Commission continues local government investigation

1 October 1997

As part of a settlement with the Commerce Commission, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council will change water services contracts to ensure that they are not anti-competitive.

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September 1997

Commission pleased with progress on gas contracts

24 September 1997

Commission Chairman, Dr Bollard, stated that the Commission welcomes the news that NGC and gas utilities have renegotiated their 1980 supply contracts, or are on the verge of doing so.

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Commission warns doctors about price fixing

22 September 1997

The Commerce Commission has warned several Lower Hutt doctors that, in the Commission's opinion, their attempted collective agreement to pay midwives specified rates is a form of price fixing and risks breaching the Commerce Act.

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Possible dominance in NZ sugar markets investigated

19 September 1997

The Commerce Commission is investigating a business acquisition that will effectively result in there being only one sugar refiner and distributor in New Zealand.

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Competition now possible in air traffic control markets

17 September 1997

Changes to pricing systems for air traffic control services have now opened up markets to potential competitors.

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Commission says get legal advice before forming alliances

15 September 1997

The Commerce Commission today strongly advised any companies considering alliances between telecommunications and utilities to get legal advice and, where appropriate, clearance or authorisation from the Commission.

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Commerce Act breach costs Toyota $260,000

9 September 1997

The Commerce Commission and Toyota New Zealand Limited today reached a settlement of court proceedings issued by the Commission against Toyota in April 1995. Toyota has agreed to pay a penalty of $250,000 plus $10,000 costs.

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Weather forecast data made available – Commission frees up meteorological market

9 September 1997

As part of a settlement with the Commerce Commission, the Minister of Transport, Jenny Shipley, and MetService yesterday changed their meteorological services contract to ensure that it did not breach the Commerce Act.

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Three oil companies charged with price fixing

4 September 1997

The Commerce Commission has started court action against Caltex (NZ) Ltd, Mobil Oil New Zealand Ltd, and Shell New Zealand Ltd, alleging that they breached the Commerce Act by agreeing to remove a discount off the price of fuel at more than 50 stations in Auckland.

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August 1997

Commission closes file on Kiwi Airlines

15 August 1997

The Commerce Commission has decided to take no further action after investigating a complaint from Kiwi Airlines Director Ewan Wilson that Air New Zealand's actions against Kiwi Airlines breached the Commerce Act.

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High Court upholds Commission's rugby decision

14 August 1997

The Auckland High Court today upheld the Commerce Commission's decision to authorise the New Zealand Rugby Football Union's (NZRFU) player transfer system.

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July 1997

Commission advises midwives about price fixing

22 July 1997

The Commerce Commission has advised Tauranga midwives that, in the Commission's opinion, their attempted collective agreement to pay general practitioners specified rates is a form of price fixing and risks breaching the Commerce Act.

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June 1997

Commission closely watching port industry

11 June 1997

The Commerce Commission is closely watching the port industry and will aggressively investigate and act against anti-competitive conduct in the industry Commission Deputy Chairman Peter Allport said today.

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April 1997

Commission stops rental car companies price fixing

7 April 1997

A Commerce Commission investigation has stopped a price fixing arrangement among six Picton rental car companies.

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March 1997

Timetable for competition in air traffic control

25 March 1997

The Commerce Commission has received Airways Corporation of New Zealand's new timetable for introducing competition for air traffic control services by August 15.

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Commerce Act implications for water suppliers

24 March 1997

Issued 24 March 1997/31 EMBARGOED until delivery at 11am, March 24

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Commission investigating Fletcher Challenge and ECNZ gas acquisitions

13 March 1997

The Commerce Commission said today that it is investigating Fletcher Challenge Energy increasing its shareholding in the Kupe natural gas field, and Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) also acquiring shares in Kupe from Fletcher Challenge Energy.

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Commission to investigate ophthalmologists

5 March 1997

The Commerce Commission today confirmed that it has commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of arrangements between the Southern Health CHE and two Australian ophthalmologists to undertake cataract surgery in Invercargill on a short-term basis.

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Commission begins court action against Southpower

5 March 1997

The Commerce Commission has begun Court action against Southpower Ltd today.

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February 1997

Commerce Act action against 34 organisations

24 February 1997

In the half year to the end of December, the Commerce Commission took enforcement action under the Commerce Act against 34 organisations.

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Commission warning about commissions

21 February 1997

The Commerce Commission has warned tour operators that trying to enforce recommended commission rates would, in the Commission's view, breach the Commerce Act.

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Airways withdraws its application for authorisation to delay competition in air traffic control

21 February 1997

Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited has withdrawn its application for authorisation of arrangements which would delay the introduction of competition for air traffic control services.

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13 submissions on delay to competition in air traffic control

19 February 1997

The Commerce Commission has received 13 submissions after it released a draft determination stating that, on the information currently available to it, it would not authorise arrangements which would allow Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited to delay the introduction of competition for air traffic control services.

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Commission warns gas industry of possible court action

18 February 1997

The Commerce Commission sent a clear warning to the natural gas industry today, that if the 1980 wholesale contracts are not successfully renegotiated within a reasonable time, then the Commission will have to consider court action against gas companies.

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No evidence of domestic air lines price fixing

5 February 1997

The Commerce Commission has found no evidence that Ansett New Zealand and Air New Zealand colluded over recent domestic fare increases.

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Commission draft determination opposes delay to competition in air traffic control

4 February 1997

The Commerce Commission today released a draft determination stating that, on the information currently available to it, it would not authorise arrangements which would allow Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited to delay the introduction of competition for air traffic control services.

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Commission asked to authorise RHA tendering process

3 February 1997

The Central Regional Health Authority, on behalf of all four Regional Health Authorities (RHAs), has sought authorisation from the Commerce Commission for a tender process to decide which organisations would provide liver transplant services.

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January 1997

Port Nelson pays $325,000 costs to Commission - penalties and costs total $850,000

28 January 1997

Port Nelson Limited (PNL) has paid costs of $325,000 to the Commerce Commission after the Commission's High Court action against the company.

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