Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fair Trade Commission Approves KT Merger with Freetel

There is an important bit of news today in the telecoms press.   The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has approved KT's proposed merger with its mobile subsidiary, Freetel.  The antitrust regulator said in a statement that it doesn't expect the merged entity to create a monopoly.  However, it warned that KT would face tougher regulation if it finds that the company is abusing its market dominance.  The deal still needs the approval of the Korea Communications Commission, a government agency that oversees telecommunications and broadcasting regulation, as well as shareholder's approval.  The merger of KT, which holds 90 percent of the country's fixed-line market, with Freetel which has 32 percent of the wireless market, behind SK Telecom with 51 percent, would create the country's largest telecommunications company.  SK Telecom objects to the merger and anticipates that it will lead to unfair competition.

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