Israel’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has said it sees no reason to oppose Cellcom’s proposed acquisition of rival mobile network operator (MNO) Golan Telecom. According to Reuters, with the ministry’s budget department having laid out its position regarding the transaction in a letter, the development paves the way for the acquisition to move forward, although the deal still requires antitrust approval. In the letter, sent to the Ministry of Communications (MoC) and the Israel Competition Authority, the MoF was cited as saying: ‘After analysing the expected implications from the merger … we did not find that the merger, including its impact on the level of competition, prices and the amount of investments in the market, raises concerns for harm to the point that justifies opposition to the request.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in February 2020 Cellcom confirmed that it had entered into a binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Golan Telecom regarding its acquisition of its rival. At that date the MNO said it planned to acquire all shares in Golan Telecom for a total consideration of ILS590 million (USD172 million), ‘subject to certain adjustments’.