MyCC has no authority over merger of telcos – CEO

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) has no authority to intervene in the proposed merger between Digi Bhd (Digi) and Celcom Axiata Bhd (Celcom), said its chief executive officer Iskandar Ismail (picture).

He said activities related to telecommunications services are under the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) jurisdiction.

“Although the Competition Act 2010 applies to any commercial activity in Malaysia, the same Act stipulates that it does not apply to commercial activities under four sectors, including the telecommunications and multimedia sectors.

“MCMC regulates mergers in the telecommunications sector and related competition matters through the provisions of the Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998,” he said in a statement, today.

As such, he said, MyCC would leave the matter of the proposed merger at the MCMC’s discretion, adding that he believed that the commission has conducted a comprehensive assessment and scrutiny before approving the merger.

He added that MyCC’s move to amend the Competition Act 2010 which will introduce a merger control regime in Malaysia is going well, however, he stressed that the merger regime would exclude the sectors under MCMC’s jurisdiction, among others.

“We hope MyCC’s decision on future merger applications will be a key reference and guide to all other authorities to ensure a consistent and robust policy landscape that will create certainty in the market,” he said.

On Wednesday MCMC said in a statement that it had approved the proposed merger between Digi and Celcom.

As Digi and Celcom are respectively Malaysia’s second and third largest mobile service operators, to date, the merger will result in the formation of the country’s largest mobile service operator, the MCMC said in the statement.

To recap, on April 8, 2021, Axiata and Telenor Group announced that they were discussing the proposed merger between Celcom and Digi to form a new entity known as MergeCo and that it was expected to be completed in the second half of 2022. – Bernama / pic Muhd Amin Naharul