Ufone Acquisition of Telenor Nears Completion, CCP Approval Expected by March 30th

Ufone Acquisition of Telenor Nears Completion, CCP Approval Expected by March 30th

Islamabad, Pakistan – Zubair Kasuri: Following the announcement of Ufone’s acquisition of Telenor Pakistan, Pakistan’s Competition Commission (CCP) is on track to confirm the sale by March 30th, according to reliable sources.

Paperwork Completed, Acquisition Imminent

Both Ufone and Telenor Pakistan have finalized all necessary paperwork, paving the way for a smooth completion of the acquisition by March 30th, 2024. Following this date, Ufone will officially take over Telenor’s mobile phone operations in Pakistan.

Read More: https://flare.pk/2024/03/itel-pakistan-shakes-up-leadership-veeki-chan-takes-the-helm/

CCP Sees No Legal Hurdles

The CCP has indicated no significant legal obstacles to the Ufone-Telenor merger. Their primary concern is ensuring a seamless transition for consumers and preventing any potential negative impacts.

Market Landscape After Merger

As per Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data, Telenor holds the third-largest market share with over 44.78 million subscribers. Ufone follows closely behind with 25.28 million subscribers. Combining forces would create a new entity with over 70 million subscribers, but Jazz would still hold the top spot with 70.95 million subscribers. Zong Pakistan would become the third-largest player with 47.40 million subscribers after the merger.

PTCL’s Dominant Stake and Potential Phase 2 Review

It’s important to note that Ufone is part of the PTCL group, a Pakistani company with a 62% stake controlled by the government and UAE-based e&. This dominant position might trigger a Phase 2 review by the CCP. Such a review, lasting 90 days, would involve a more in-depth analysis of the merger’s potential impact on competition.

Precedence for Phase 2 Review Exists

The CCP conducted a similar Phase 2 review in 2016 when Jazz acquired Warid Telecom, highlighting their commitment to scrutinizing mergers that could lead to market dominance.

Ufone Official Acknowledges Possibility

A senior Ufone official acknowledged the possibility of a Phase 2 review based on factors like complaints from competitors or the CCP’s prioritization of enhanced transparency.

Timeline Hinges on CCP Approval

A successful Phase 1 approval would pave the way for the merger to be finalized potentially by the start of the next fiscal year. However, a Phase 2 review would significantly delay the process.

Merger Hinges on CCP Scrutiny

While Ufone appears close to acquiring Telenor, the potential for a Phase 2 review adds uncertainty to the final timeline for this major telecom merger in Pakistan.

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