Azerbaijan’s Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov has confirmed that two state-owned fixed line telecoms operators, AzTelekom and Baku Telephone Production Association (BTRIB), will be merged and transformed to a joint stock company by mid-2015, ahead of plans to privatise the combined operator at a later date. ‘In the near future it is expected to attract a consulting company to conduct an audit. We expect that the change in the ownership form at these enterprises will take place by late 2014 or early 2015,’ Trend news agency quotes the minister as saying. The Ministry’s long-term plans include the privatisation of all enterprises under its jurisdiction. BTRIB (also known as BakTelekom) operates in and around the capital Baku, while AzTelekom covers the country’s other cities and rural regions, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.