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Telecom happier as government clarifies possible regulation

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 6th October 2000

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Telecom is welcoming clarification by Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, over possible regulatory changes to New Zealand's telecommunications sector.

Despite bitter Telecom protest, the final Telecommunications Inquiry report this week carried through a draft recommendation that the sector be regulated by an electronic communications commissioner.

However Finance Minister Michael Cullen says that the sharemarket seemed to be over-reacting to possible regulatory changes, referring to the loss in value of Telecom shares which have this week reached their lowest point in years.

Dr Cullen says Communications Minister Paul Swain has made it very clear that the recommendations of the Telecommunications Inquiry are just that and by no means represent the final views the Government would adopt.

"In particular Mr Swain has always been sceptical about the value of industry specific regulation, rather preferring to look at using the Commerce Commission as a vehicle for any regulatory changes which may be approved. "

Telecom chief executive, Theresa Gattung, says Mr Cullen's statement "demonstrates an understanding of the dynamics of financial markets and their particular need for clarity on Government thinking at certain times."

"With the Telecommunications Inquiry report now complete, we look forward to sitting down with the Government at an appropriate time to work through the issues," she says.

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