February 25, 2009

KT Corp. one step closer to KTF merger

Market regulators in South Korea gave unconditional approval to a merger between KT Corp. and its mobile service affiliate KTF Co. Wednesday.

The Fair Trade Commission said in a statement it found no competition-limiting impact from the takeover. The decision, however, now goes to the Korea Communications Commission, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

The KCC is expected to issue a ruling on the merger March 20. A KCC official warned the Fair Trade Commission's decision was advisory, not final.

The opinion by the FTC will be reflected in the KCC's final decision. However, the FTC's decision is not an absolute criterion, the official said.

The merger, if approved, would join forces of KT, which controls 90 percent of the South Korea's land-line telephone market and has 12 million broadband customers, with KTF, which is the country's second largest mobile phone carrier.