TRA approves Viva Bahrain's acquisition of Menatelecom with conditions

Thursday 12 October 2017 | 11:02 CET | News

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has given approval to Viva Bahrain for its proposed acquisition of Menatelecom. TRA said after a process of open consultation and discussions with various parties, it concluded that Viva’s plans complied with the necessary regulations. 

The TRA first received notification from Viva on 17 August of its proposal to acquire 100 percent of the common equity of Menatelecom. The TRA then invited comments from third parties on the plan, and Batelco raised concerns about the market share of the combined entity, concentration of spectrum and inconsistency with the single policy network objective under National Telecom Plan 4. This led to the regulator raising "serious doubts" about Viva's ability to meet the requirements set out for mergers and acquisitions. 

A meeting between the TRA and Viva last month saw discussions on the contentious issues surrounding the deal. Having received the required assurances, TRA said it decided to give approval to the deal while attaching certain conditions to the merger. Under these, Viva Bahrain and/or the combined entity must comply with the terms of Menatelecom's existing licences, and it must consult with the TRA on the early reassignment of the 3.5 GHz spectrum band if the regulator decides that this band will be used for the deployment of 5G networks in Bahrain.

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