Reuters reports that no fewer than seven Singapore-based telecom companies, including M1 Limited (M1) and StarHub, have requested that the government dismisses a proposal from dominant carrier Singapore Telecommunication (SingTel) to purchase the firm tasked with building the city’s state’s next generation national broadband network (NGNBN). To the dismay of rivals, SingTel trust fund NetLink Trust has proposed the acquisition of OpenNet – the consortium awarded the contract to develop the NGNBN – for a consideration of SGD126 million (USD100.8 million), subject to regulatory approval from the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore. In a joint statement the seven firms said: ‘If approved, the proposed consolidation would see SingTel becoming the 100% beneficial owner of the only other nationwide fixed telecommunications network in Singapore, apart from SingTel’s own network … The unprecedented show of solidarity demonstrates the grave concerns the industry has over the competition issues raised by the proposed consolidation, including the potential of discriminatory treatment and a lack of independence’.
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