The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has progressed the merger application of Telenor Pakistan and PTCL to the subsequent stage, issuing the necessary initial approvals for the merger to continue.

According to a source, the proposed merger has cleared the initial scrutiny by the CCP and has now advanced to the final evaluation phase.

At this stage, the antitrust authority is anticipated to grant final approval for the merger.

Industry experts note that rejections of mergers by the CCP typically occur in the initial phase. The advancement of the Telenor-PTCL merger to the second phase suggests a probable approval.

The first phase critically examines the post-merger market dynamics and the potential impacts on consumers and other stakeholders in the industry. Moving past this phase indicates the CCP’s assessment that the merger is unlikely to significantly harm market competition.

This procedural trajectory mirrors that of the Warid-Mobilink merger, which also progressed to the second phase following preliminary approval.

The CCP’s observations from the first phase of the Warid-Jazz merger had raised concerns about the potential elimination of competition, which are similar to those noted in the Telenor-PTCL merger’s documents. These concerns have prompted the progression of the application to phase two for further examination.

Earlier this year, PTCL submitted a merger application with the CCP for its amalgamation with Telenor.

A decision on this crucial approval from the CCP is expected within the next two months, subsequent to which the merger application will proceed to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for additional required regulatory approvals.

The completion of the merger process between the two companies could extend from 18 to 24 months following the PTA’s approval.

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