Mergers and Acquisitions: a telecoms policy for Hong Kong?

In December 2002 OFTA provided Legco with an Explanatory Note 1 of guidelines to its approach to mergers and acquisitions, competition policy and regulation. This comes at a time when telecommunication markets globally have suffered a downturn and the prophets of doom are thick on the ground. 2 Industry consolidation has been muted for several years in highly competitive markets like Hong Kong, or in other markets in Asia where licences were issued on a somewhat less rational basis than in Hong Kong. Where the state has been actively involved, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, a consolidation of sorts is taking place, usually motivated by the need to rescue ailing ompanies or safeguard public investments and state revenues. In Hong Kong, with the notably exception of the PCCW-HKT, Reach, CSL and elstra deals, it has hardly happened,3 partly reflecting no doubt the forms of ownership and control that exist in Hong Kong, but also reflecting the tremendous resilience of the Hong Kong companies involved. OFTA’s paper provides annexes in M&A guidelines in the USA and Australia. This paper takes a look at what’s been happening in the EU and the UK and examines the OFTA paper in this light.

 

Session One:

  • Guest Speaker: Ewan Sutherland, Executive Director, INTUG – signs of market recover, or signs of market consolidation: a user perspective
  • Dr Robert Crandall, Brookings Institution – the state of competition in the U.S. market

Session Two:

  • Keynote: Edward Whitehorn, Assistant Director (Competition Affairs) OFTA – M&A legislation in Hong Kong

 

Panel Discussion:

  • Tony Cheung, President, Fixed Network and VAS Group, ITAHK
  • Simon Chan, Chairman of HKTUG; Victor Hung Tin-yau, Chief Trade Practices Officer, Consumer Council
  • Michael Reede, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison
  • Ewan Sutherland, Executive Director INTUG
  •  Agnes Miu, Director of Legal & Regulatory, Hutchison Global Communications

 

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