ISLAMABAD: Firms in the telecom sector are worried that the acquisition of Telenor Pakistan by the Pakistan Telecommunication Ltd (PTCL) will harm their interests, the Competition Commission said on Monday.

In what is believed to be one of the largest deals in the country’s telecom sector, the agreement will see Ufone merge with Telenor Pakistan, making the joint company a close rival of Jazz, the nation’s largest telecom firm.

The CCP said in a statement that it had received the PTCL’s application for permission to acquire 100 per cent shareholding of Telenor Pakistan (Pvt) and the Orion Towers Private on Feb 29.

But the money submitted with the application was less than the specified amount, the CCP said, adding that PTCL paid the remaining amount on March 6.

“In order to complete due diligence, further information was sought, but the PTCL’s legal teams have yet to come up with the required information.”

According to the commission, it will have 30 working days to complete due diligence for the first phase review once the PTCL submits all documents and information. The CCP said a firm had expressed

concern that the proposed acquisition by PTCL would reduce the number of competitors offering telephone services. “This will further delay the due diligence process.”

There are four players in the telecom sector: Jazz, Telenor, Zong and Ufone, a subsidiary of PTCL.

A previous merger in this sector took place in 2016 when Jazz (then known as Mobilink) acquired Warid.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2024

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