SK Telecom has received conditional approval from the nation’s antitrust regulator for its KRW1.09 trillion (USD1.2 billion) purchase of a stake in Hanarotelecom. Seoul’s Fair Trade Commission approved the acquisition on the proviso that SK Telecom maintain fair competition in the telecoms market and allows rivals to use its wireless frequencies. SK Telecom said in a statement it ‘regretted’ the regulator’s conditions, adding it was up to the Ministry of Information and Communication MIC to decide on the frequency issue. The MIC is scheduled to make a final decision on whether to approve the acquisition on 20 February.
In December, SK Telecom agreed to buy a 39% stake in Hanaro from a group led by American International Group (AIG) and Newbridge Capital for USD1.18 billion.