A merger between Melita and Vodafone Malta would give them market dominance that could have serious implications for future investments, prices and Malta’s competitiveness, a top telecoms executive warns.

The  merger plan was unveiled in May.

GO plc’s chief executive officer, Attila Keszeg, says in a Talking Point in today’s Times of Malta the Office for Competition in the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority may announce its decision on the merger in “the next few weeks, possibly days”.

“Achieving a fair and open market post-acquisition will be a challenge in a scenario where the combination of Vodafone and Melita’s mobile businesses will give the new entity a very dominant position in that segment.

In addition, the fact that Melita’s nationwide fixed-line internet capability is very strong further increases the risk of having one operator establishing a very dominant position in the overall telecommunications market.”

Mr Keszeg points out that “the sheer expense which Melita will need to incur to acquire a controlling stake in Vodafone Malta” makes the matter even more complicated, warning that “the implications on future investment in infrastructure by operators, for consumers’ pockets and Malta’s general economic competitiveness, are all too clear”.

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