South Korea’s Ministry of Science & ICT (MSIT) has given its final approval to the planned merger of mobile and fixed network operator LG Uplus and cableco/MVNO CJ Hello (CJ HelloVision). As reported by the Korea Herald, the conditional permission follows a detailed review of the market impact of the transaction, with emphasis placed on the benefits to the industry as a whole and improvements in rights and convenience for consumers, while MSIT added that the merger could contribute to the lowering of communication costs. The ministry also indicated that LG Uplus will move toward completing the merger this week.
LG Uplus’ KRW800 billion (USD679 million) purchase of a 50%-plus-one share stake in CJ Hello (via CJ E&M, part of CJ ENM) was conditionally approved by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) last month. LG is South Korea’s third largest mobile and fixed broadband provider by subscriber volume, while cable TV network operator CJ sits in fourth place in the fixed broadband market and is also the country’s third biggest MVNO.