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Discussions to merge Technology and Communication firms in PNG

A formal discussion was held on Wednesday regarding the proposed merger of communication firms, Telikom (PNG) Limited, bmobile and DataCo. The discussion had been between Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) commissioner, and chief executive officer (CEO) Paulus Ain and Telikom chairman Mahesh Patel. The meeting was necessitated following cabinets approval of the transfer of shares of DataCo and bmobile to Telikom.

Further to comply with recently passed regulations that ICCC be notified of any mergers undertaken in the country so that they can conduct their own checks and assessments to ensure the deals being entered into are not in anyway anti-competitive. Further, the general public is not disadvantaged. “Under the Independent Consumer and Competition Act 2002 (ICCC Act) it is an offence if a company enters into or gives effect to a merger or business acquisition that is anti-competitive. “The ICCC Act also allows for companies to either apply for a clearance or an authorisation which when granted by the watchdog, gives the company protection from any legal action it instigates, including third party legal action,” Ain said. Mr Ain had thanked Mr Patel and the Telikom Board for ensuring that appropriate competition requirements are met prior to the completion of this proposed merger.

He also reiterated the need for other local and foreign companies operating in PNG to follow Telikom’s lead by being genuine corporate citizens and ensure that appropriate statutory requirements are met at all times when carrying on business in PNG. “The ICCC looks forward to working closely with the company, its board and other parties to the proposed merger to ensure competition in PNG’s telecommunications industry is one that is robust and promotes benefits for both businesses and consumers,” Ain said. Post Courier/PNG Today
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