Three Colombian municipally-owned telcos, ETB (based in Bogota), Emcali (Cali) and Une (Medellin), have proposed a merger of operations to combat increasing competition from the likes of Telmex and Telefonica, writes BNamericas citing local newspaper La Republica. Under the agreement, the three telcos hope to create synergies and improve operating efficiencies. According to the report, the mayors of the three cities have agreed to hire an investment bank to study the best scenario for the strategic alliance. The investment bank may study several options including a possible merger, integration or commercial agreement. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the issue of a merger has been up for discussion for many years. However, progress has been slow, in part as a result of each of the companies having to separate their telecoms businesses from the rest of their operations.