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South Korean authorities grant conditional approval for SK Broadband and t-broad merger

22 Jan 2020

The proposed merger between SK Telecom’s SK Broadband unit and the country’s second largest cable TV operator t-broad looks set to go ahead, following confirmation that the deal has now been approved by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) and the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT).

According to the Korea Herald, on 20 January the KCC granted conditional approval for the tie-up, subject to ‘14 conditions and three suggestions’, which were not detailed, but are understood to have an overarching aim of ensuring the enlarged entity protects users’ rights and serves the public interest. Meanwhile, Yonhap News Agency reports that the MSIT, which had given an initial approval to the merger last month, has now confirmed that initial decision. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in announcing its initial conditional approval, Hong Jin-bae, director general of the MSIT’s network and telecommunication policy office, noted: ‘The approval was given under the condition that the merged company will not discriminate against existing customers, and does not engage in unfair practice.’

SK Telecom is aiming to conclude the merger by 1 April 2020. The last required step will be for the company to report to the Financial Supervisory Service and hold board meetings before completing the requisite financial transactions.

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