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Ministry gives conditional approval to SK Broadband, Tbroad merger

The ICT Ministry on Monday approved the merger between SK Telecom’s SK Broadband and Tbroad, the second-largest cable operator in South Korea.

Hong Jin-bae, director general of the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Office of Network Policy Telecommunication Policy Bureau, speaks during a briefing on the SK Broadband-Tbroad merger in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Hong Jin-bae, director general of the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Office of Network Policy Telecommunication Policy Bureau, speaks during a briefing on the SK Broadband-Tbroad merger in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

If SK Telecom receives approval from the Korea Communications Commission next month, SK Telecom will hold a 74.37 percent stake in the new company formed from its subsidiary and Tbroad of Taekwang Group.

The ministry said it has approved the merger, as well as Taekwang Group’s acquisition of a 16.79 percent stake in the new company, based on the same principles it followed when approving the acquisition by LG Uplus of a majority stake in CJ Hello.

The ministry, however, set certain conditions to ensure fair competition in the market and to prevent SKT, the largest mobile carrier here, from over-advertising its bundle products to subscribers coming from Tbroad.

If the merger goes through, the total number of subscribers is expected to reach some 7.84 million, making SK Telecom the third-biggest player in the pay TV market here.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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