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South Korea: Antitrust body disapproves of SK-CJH merger

 |  July 5, 2016

The Fair Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it was tentatively disapproving the proposed takeover of CJ HelloVision by SK Telecom.

After reviewing the proposal over the last seven months, the antitrust agency issued its ban order stressing that the takeover would limit competition in the market.

The antitrust watchdog sent its review to SKT the previous day. The disapproval came as a rare move by the FTC, which endorses or conditionally approves proposals in most cases.

The FTC said if the takeover had been approved, SKT and CJH would have their broadcasting business dominate 21 out of 23 regions in the domestic market, establishing dominance.

Expectations are that SK Telecom will fiercely argue over the properness of its merger proposal with the antitrust agency at the scheduled full session to catch its last chance to resuscitate its drive.

Following the decision, SKT will submit an appeal to a full session of the FTC, scheduled to be held around July 20. At the meeting, standing members of the FTC will make a final decision on the proposal.

Based on the FTC’s opinion, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will make its final decision on the issue in consultation with the Korea Communications Commission.

Full Content: Korea Times

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