14 August 2008
The chief executive officer of Auckland Airport, Don Huse, announced today that the company will not proceed with its previously announced plans to move from two duty free operators to one non-exclusive operator from August 2009.
The Airport has decided to retain two duty free operators rather than face the prospect of an extended dispute with the Commerce Commission which has been investigating the decision to move from two duty free operators.
The Airport has provided a formal undertaking to retain two operators until June 2015. In response, the Commerce Commission has notified the Airport that, although it considers that the Airport's conduct risked breaching the Commerce Act, the Commission will cease its investigation.
"Although we firmly believe that Auckland Airport has not breached the provisions of the Commerce Act, this is a pragmatic and practical decision," said Mr. Huse.
This decision will remove the uncertainty which has been created by the investigation process around international terminal building development projects currently being planned or in progress.
The company is actively progressing with planning to maintain two duty free operators on both arrivals and departures. A number of options are being considered. At this time, it is not possible to determine the costs or the impact on the company's retail income, if any, associated with this re-configuration.
"Auckland Airport remains committed to providing a most compelling and competitive duty free offer as a critical part of its comprehensive retail programme," said Mr. Huse.
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