Papua New Guinea’s Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has given its approval for the merger between fixed line incumbent Telikom PNG and wholesale provider PNG DataCo, the Post Courier reports. This regulatory nod completes all of the approvals needed for the proposed tie-up of the two aforementioned companies and a third provider, mobile network operator (MNO) bmobile-Vodafone, into Kumul Consolidated Holding Limited (KCHL) – the statutory corporation that holds several state-owned enterprises, including both Telikom and PNG DataCo.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February this year the ICCC confirmed it had begun reassessing the proposed tie-up, after pausing its examination in August 2017 when KCHL withdrew its application. In confirming the ICCC’s decision, commissioner Paulus Ain said that the companies now have until May 2019 to complete the merger.
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that Telikom and bmobile-Vodafone have until the end of June 2018 to complete their tie-up. With it understood that those two companies gained regulatory approval for their merger last year, Mr Ain noted: ‘From our understanding they haven’t completed that transaction yet, so we are closely talking to KCHL to fast track that as well, but if they don’t, that is their decision, and they will be required to come back to us for another clearance.’