CCP Okays Mobilink-Warid Proposed Merger

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has affirmed the proposed merger of Warid and Mobilink.

PTA

The merger approval is conditional upon compliance with the remedies force by CCP. The bench listening to the matter comprised of Vadiyya Khalil, CCP Chairperson, Dr Shahzad Ansar, Member Office of Fair Trade & Advocacy, and Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi, Member Cartels & Trade Abuse and Legal.

In its point by point order, the Commission has attempted a comprehensive competitive analysis of the merger to determine if it substantially lessens competition by creating or strengthening a dominant position. The assessment has been undertaken on the basis of extensive consultation with the merger parties, competitors, and the PTA.

While conducting its evaluation, the Commission noticed that the merger raised competition concerns, which were lightened by countervailing elements and efficiencies. The Commission identified a couple of insisting concerns in areas of spectrum concentration, non-compete obligations, infrastructure sharing, and joint control for which conditions have been forced.

In connection with the spectrum concentration, the Commission has made spectrum sharing mandatory upon determination of underutilized/inefficiently capacity by PTA. With respect to infrastructure sharing, the Commission has directed the parties to provide guest operators on their cell sites the first choice to purchase the site, directly or through an auction if there is more than one guest operator. To facilitate entry in the future, the Commission has forced an obligation to provide wholesale access to potential Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).

To address the worry regarding the non-compete agreement, the term and extent of the non-compete responsibility have been limited. A firewall has been made between Mobilink and Abu Dhabi Group’s other businesses in the telecom industry. The remedies forced on VimpelCom and Telenor Group by virtue of the Commission’s order dated March 17, 2011, to address the problem of joint control have been further strengthened through the appointment of a 3rd party reviewer who will report an independent assessment of compliance with the Commission. 


Originally Publishes on The Nation

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