ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has concluded the first phase review of the pre-merger application. The transaction entails Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) acquiring 100% shareholding of Telenor Pakistan (Private) Limited (TP) and Orion Towers Private Limited (OT) from Telenor Pakistan BV (TPBV).

CCP’s Phase-I review shows that the proposed transaction meets the presumption of dominance as defined in the Competition Act, 2010. Consequently, a Phase II review has been initiated to thoroughly analyze the effect on competition in the telecom sector as well as telecom services to consumers in Pakistan.

CCP has identified the relevant product markets as Retail LDI Fixed-line Telecommunication Market, Retail Mobile Telecommunication Market, Wholesale Domestic Leased Lines, Wholesale IP Bandwidth and Individual Mobile/Fixed Interconnect within the geographic market of Pakistan.

The Phase II review is a rare yet necessary move by the CCP. It is pertinent to mention that CCP took a similar stance of comprehensive competition analysis in the Mobilink and Warid merger application. The Mobilink and Warid merger also highlighted competition concerns in areas of spectrum concentration, infrastructure sharing, non-compete obligations, and joint control. CCP imposed certain conditions as to how the merged entities would conduct their business post transaction. It was successfully approved with some conditions to ensure consumer protection.