ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is all set to give its verdict on Warid-Mobilink merger by end of this month or early next month.

According to officials, the Authority is processing the application of the proposed merger. “We are communicating with stakeholders including telecom players and government departments as part of merger approval,” a senior official said.

He said apart from seeing regulatory aspects, the authority will also take measures to protect consumers. We are evaluating from regulator point of view, and of course we will also ensure that the consumer interest is protected during and after the process, he said. Official said as it was the first merger in telecom history, PTA was trying to evaluate from every possible angle.

“There is no precedence of such mergers and we are doing everything first time. If some objection comes up comes during the public hearing, which will be held soon, or some stakeholders raise any valid point in written form, we would bind the merging companies to address that,” official said, adding that merger is likely to get approval from the authority, by the end of this month or early next month.

PTA started processing the application after the approval of Competition Commission of Pakistan. Last month, CCP approved the merger directing merged company to comply with the remedies imposed by the commission.

After CCP’s approval, both the companies also need approval from Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and State Bank of Pakistan. PTA has already told both the companies to clear all outstanding dues. Wateen and LinkDotNet had reportedly defaulted on some payments which have to be settled down.

According to Mobilink, it will first acquire 100 percent of Warid’s shares in consideration for the Dhabi Group shareholders acquiring approximately 15% of the shares of Mobilink. After getting approvals both the companies are expected to start merging their operations by August 2016.