28 August 2013 - The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced the start of a public consultation on the proposed acquisition by CityNet, as the Trustee-Manager (TM) of the NetLink Trust, of 100% of the issued and paid up capital in OpenNet, a Designated Telecom Licensee (DTL).
Singapore, 28 August 2013 | For Immediate Release
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced the start of a public consultation on the proposed acquisition by CityNet, as the Trustee-Manager (TM) of the NetLink Trust, of 100% of the issued and paid up capital in OpenNet, a Designated Telecom Licensee (DTL). This consultation seeks to gather public and industry feedback on the purported benefits and implications of the proposed acquisition.
In the Consolidation Application, the Applicants have submitted that (i) the acquisition will not lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the market; (ii) Open Access and non-discriminatory service provisioning will continue to be upheld; (iii) the acquisition will result in a more streamlined structure, and will improve operational efficiencies and responsiveness that can be passed down the value chain; and (iv) the acquisition will still meet IDA's No Effective Control requirements as envisaged in its Request for Proposal for the Next Gen National Broadband Network. The Applicants further assured IDA that all contractual and regulatory obligations will continue to be complied with.
In addition, the Applicants have also proposed measures to assure IDA that this proposed acquisition does not give rise to any competitive concerns. These include (a) SingTel's (who is the 100% unitholder of the NetLink Trust) proposed divestment of its unitholdings in the NetLink Trust to less than 25 per cent by 22 April 2018; (b) SingTel limiting its ability to appoint no more than 25% of the OpenNet and CityNet boards respectively; (c) SingTel restricting its unitholder rights, primarily on the removal of the TM, the winding up of the NetLink Trust, the taking of any action that is contrary to IDA's No Effective Control requirements, etc.; and (d) SingTel terminating its contract as OpenNet's key sub-contractor.
In assessing the Consolidation Application, IDA will take into account all relevant factors and ensure that the proposed transaction does not result in a substantial lessening of market competition or harms the public interest. While the public consultation is ongoing, IDA expects OpenNet to continue to fulfil its regulatory and contractual obligations, such as the Universal Service Obligation, the Quality of Service standards, and the Interconnection Offers.
IDA reserves the right to deny, approve or impose conditions for any approval of the Consolidation Application. These may include the divestiture of certain operations or assets of any of the Applicants and/or behavioural safeguards such as accounting separation.
IDA invites interested parties to submit their comments on the proposed acquisition. The public consultation starts from 28 August 2013, and will end on 18 September 2013.
For more information, please refer to this webpage: www.ida.gov.sg/Policies-and-Regulations/Consultation-Papers-and-Decisions/Open-For-Public-Comments.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE AND MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg.