The Venezuelan telecoms regulator Conatel has said it expects to make a decision on CANTV’s proposed USD450 million acquisition of rival operator Digitel early next year. The regulator’s director, Alvin Lezama, says CANTV will have to wait until March or April to see if it has won approval for the deal. He added that the proposed takeover will take time to study because CANTV is already the country’s largest fixed line operator and the deal would give it a dominant position in the wireless market. The combined entity would have around four million mobile subscribers, ahead of the current market leader Telcel which has around 3.8 million. Conatel took four months to approve Telefónica’s recent acquisition of Telcel from BellSouth.