The PTCL buyout of Telenor aims to stifle competition

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL)’s acquisition of Telenor Pakistan is expected to weaken the country’s competitive landscape, according to the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP).

The CCP came to the provisional conclusion on Monday that there may be significantly less competition in the telecommunications sector as a result of PTCL’s acquisition of Telenor Pakistan (Private) Ltd and Orion Towers Private Ltd.

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The telecom industry in Pakistan is dominated by four companies: Ufone, a division of PTCL, Jazz, Telenor, and Zong. Following the planned acquisition, there will only be three companies in the telecom market as Ufone and Telenor combine to become as big as Jazz.

PTCL, a publicly traded company, offers a range of telecommunication services through its subsidiaries in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit-Baltistan. These services include cellular mobile telephony, wireless local loop service, direct-to-home television service, and financial services.

In Pakistan, AJK, and GB, Telenor Pakistan and Orion Towers, which are fully-owned subsidiaries of Telenor Pakistan BV, offer cellular mobile and related services.

The acquisition of Telenor may enhance PTCL’s dominant position in the industry, according to the Phase-I review of the company’s merger application.

In its decision, the CCP emphasized that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had already designated PTCL, which was established in 1995, as a significant market power (SMP) operator in the wholesale domestic leased line, wholesale IP bandwidth, and retail LDI fixed-line telecommunication markets.


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