Papua New Guinea’s Independent Consumer & Competition Commission (ICCC) has proposed granting clearance to Australia’s Telstra for the latter’s proposed acquisition of Digicel PNG and its subsidiaries. In a press release issued via social media, the ICCC announced that it has decided to hold a ‘pre-decision conference’ related to the clearance application lodged by Telstra related to the acquisition, while it has also released a draft determination related to the application. Commenting, ICCC commissioner and CEO Paulus Ain said: ‘After careful consideration of the information provided in Telstra’s clearance application, and as well as comments received from both industry participants and other relevant stakeholders, including available market information, the ICCC has concluded in its draft determination that the proposed acquisition will not have, or will not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any telecommunication services market … The ICCC therefore proposes to give clearance to Telstra to proceed with the proposed acquisition.’
Comments have now been invited on the watchdog’s draft determination, with the ICCC having set a deadline of 25 January 2022 for submissions. Meanwhile, with regards to the pre-decision conference, the competition authority said it plans to send formal invitation letters to this event to ‘certain stakeholders’.