VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited), the market leader in India’s international telephony and ISP sectors, announced yesterday that it has gained the final US regulatory approval necessary to complete the USD130 million purchase of Tyco Global Network, a division of US-owned Tyco International. VSNL pulled off a major coup last November by agreeing to buy the fibre-optic network unit, which operates a 60,000km cable network connecting Asia, Europe and North America. The deal ended months of speculation over who would acquire the company. The key component of the network is the trans-Pacific submarine cable, which accounts for around 45% of trans-Pacific capacity, and has the potential to upgrade its capacity to account for 79%.
Last month the Tyco deal was given the all-clear by the US Committee on Foreign Investment, which had undertaken an inquiry into potential issues of American national security presented by the acquisition. The clearance was granted on condition that VSNL signed a security agreement allowing US law agencies to conduct surveillance of domestic calls made over the network.