IDA seeking public feedback on OpenNet's acquisition by SingTel's business trust

An OpenNet fibre optic cable (thin cable in red and blue) used in Singapore. The Infocomm Development Authority is seeking the industry's feedback on the proposed acquisition of Singapore's fibre broadband network builder OpenNet. -- ST FILE PHOTO: A
An OpenNet fibre optic cable (thin cable in red and blue) used in Singapore. The Infocomm Development Authority is seeking the industry's feedback on the proposed acquisition of Singapore's fibre broadband network builder OpenNet. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

The Infocomm Development Authority is seeking the industry's feedback on the proposed acquisition of Singapore's fibre broadband network builder OpenNet.

Among the regulator's key considerations are whether the acquisition will result in a substantial lessening of competition or harm to the public's interest. This includes the reduction of supply or increase in price, or the elimination of a significant market player.

Last Thursday (Aug 22), OpenNet's shareholders - SingTel, SP Telecommunications, Singapore Press Holdings and Canada's Axia NetMedia - announced their agreement to sell OpenNet for $126 million.

OpenNet's acquirer is NetLink Trust, the business trust that owns the ducts and manholes through which the optical fibre cables pass to reach homes and buildings.

NetLink Trust is owned by SingTel, but managed by trustee-manager CityNet.

IDA's review is critical as SingTel is also an Internet service provider and competes with firms like StarHub and M1 for fibre broadband consumers.