CCP Embarks on Phase-II Scrutiny of Anticipated PTCL-Telenor Consolidation


The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) is undertaking an exhaustive examination, amassing intricate data, soliciting market participant feedback via comprehensive surveys, and gathering observations from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) concerning the proposed PTCL-Telenor amalgamation.

The CCP will meticulously appraise the efficiencies professed by the entities involved in the merger, ensuring these efficiencies confer tangible benefits to consumers.

Presently, the CCP is engaged in a Phase II scrutiny of the prospective acquisition of Telenor Pakistan by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). This pivotal examination will ascertain whether the merger receives approval and delineate any requisite conditions to uphold competitive equilibrium in the market.

PTCL submitted a pre-merger application on March 6, 2024. Pursuant to its statutory framework, the CCP had a 30-day period to scrutinize the application and render a Phase I decree. The Phase I decree, issued on May 3, 2024, within the stipulated timeline, concluded that the merger could potentially impinge on competition within the telecom sector, thus necessitating a Phase II review. The CCP has a 90-day window to conclude this thorough review and promulgate its decree.

A Phase II review entails a meticulous probe into the merger’s prospective ramifications on market competition. This stage is triggered when preliminary assessments indicate that the merger could constrain competition within the telecom sector.

The outcome of a Phase II review is frequently a “conditional” approval. Historically, the CCP has sanctioned mergers contingent upon certain structural and behavioral modifications, coupled with conditions designed to mitigate anti-competitive consequences and safeguard consumers from the abuse of a dominant position.

Pakistan adheres to a compulsory, suspensory merger control framework, mandating that any merger meeting the notification criteria must undergo review and receive approval from the antitrust agency before finalization. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines, remedies, or the transaction being declared void.