Telekom Slovenije, which owns Macedonian fixed line network operator and ISP On.Net and recently acquired domestic cellco Cosmofon, will be amalgamated under a single operational brand name by the end of 2009. According to Cosmofon chief executive officer Olivier Poncin, the integration plan will be launched upon completion of the merger, and will involve a ‘reorganisation and analysis of responsibilities’ – meaning a review of staffing levels. It is unknown how many people will be affected by proposed job cuts.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in May this year Telekom Slovenije became the 100% owner of Cosmofon, Macedonia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, after receiving the go-ahead from the Macedonian telecoms competition regulator on 30 April for its planned purchase from Cosmote, the mobile arm of OTE of Greece. In March 2009 OTE agreed terms with its Slovenian counterpart concerning Telekom Slovenije’s acquisition of Cosmofon, held through Cosmote. The deal also included the sale of Macedonian retail chain Telekom Skopje. OTE sold the two units for a total of EUR190 million (USD251.3 million). The Greek firm was forced to offload Cosmofon for regulatory reasons. In 2008 Deutsche Telekom purchased a 25% stake in the Greek operator, but as it also controls Macedonia’s other leading cellular operator T-Mobile Macedonia, it was forced to dispose of the new mobile asset on competition grounds.