Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has published a ‘Consultation on Notification of a Qualifying Transaction Pursuant to the Mergers and Acquisitions Regulation’, after Kalaam Telecom Bahrain, an enterprise-focused broadband/telephony operator, proposed a takeover of domestic broadband rival Lightspeed Communications. On 10 March Kalaam Telecom agreed to purchase 100% of Lightspeed, the Bahraini ISP/fixed telecoms subsidiary of Jordan Telecom, itself part of France’s Orange Group. While Kalaam currently aims its services firmly at the business user market, Lightspeed markets broadband services across the residential, SME and corporate segments. The TRA’s announcement on 19 March said that on preliminary examination it found that the notified transaction could fall within scope of M&A regulation, but it reserved making a final decision, and invited interested third parties to submit comments within 14 days as part of the process of assessing whether the merger could substantially lessen competition.
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