ISLAMABAD: A number of newspapers have publicized a misleading information on behalf of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) regarding the progress of pre-merger application of PTCL. PTCL intends to acquire 100% shareholding of M/s. Telenor Pakistan (Private) Limited (“Telenor”) and M/s. Orion Towers Private Limited (“OT”).

CCP received a pre-merger application on 29th February, 2024 from PTCL Lawyers. Initially, the application was submitted with incorrect fee. The remaining outstanding fee was sent to the Commission on 6th March, 2024.

CCP requested further information on 20th March, 2024 in order to complete its due diligence. The requisite information is still awaited from the PTCL lawyers.

The Commission has 30 working days to complete its due diligence after all the required information is submitted. The 30 working days timeframe for the first phase review will commence after PTCL lawyers submit the outstanding information requested by the Commission.

It is pertinent to mention that the CCP’s merger department is processing 21 applications at the moment. Acquisition of Telenor by PTCL is one of those applications.

There were altogether five undertakings operative in Pakistan’s mobile telecom industry. This included Jazz, Zong, Telenor Pakistan, Warid and Ufone. Jazz acquired Warid in 2016. PTCL has a wholly-owned subsidiary called Ufone. The acquisition of Telenor by PTCL will reduce the number of competitors offering telephony service in the market.

The Commission has also received concerns from a competitor regarding the intended acquisition by PTCL. The CCP will complete its due diligence in due course.

The media is urged to avoid speculation and dissemination of premature information about the merger. For accurate information, they are encouraged to contact the Commission directly.