NetVision bid to grab stake in HOT blocked

6 Oct 2008

The Israel Antitrust Authority (IAA) has officially notified broadband ISP NetVision that it will oppose its mooted acquisition of Bank Leumi’s stake in cableco HOT-Telecommunication Systems, Globes Online is reporting. The IAA is understood to believe that, should NetVision acquire the stake it would mean a reduction in the number of companies competing in the telecoms market, as HOT would be consolidated in to IDB Holding Corp, the parent company of NetVision, which also has control of Israeli cellco Cellcom. The IAA also noted that the deal would see a reduction in competition in the sector as HOT would be unlikely to enter the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market as this would see it compete directly against Cellcom. As part of the IAA’s decision, Bank Leumi has been granted more time in which to sell its stake in HOT; the financial institution may appeal the IAA decision to block the sale of its HOT stake to the Restrictive Trade Practices Tribunal or to the High Court of Justice.

Israel, HOT Telecommunication Systems, NetVision