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SK Broadband-T-broad merger gets green light


South Korea’s ICT Ministry on Tuesday gave its thumbs up to the merger of SK Broadband and T-broad, the second-largest cable TV operator here. 

The ministry has also listed conditions aimed at minimizing side effects from new service providers that could drive out relatively small-sized media businesses across the country.

The government has been cautious over the merger as it is the first case between nationwide IPTV operator and a local cable system operator.

The conditions include sparing a quota for feature contents provided by regional TV channels.

The government has ordered SK Broadband to report back on its future investment plans. The company previously said it would invest 4.6 trillion won ($4 billion) to boost the local content industry, 893.7 billion won in cable TV products, 2.2 trillion won in IPTV services and 925 billion won in OTT contents.

The ministry has prevented new businesses from unduly transferring subscribers from T-broad.

Upon receiving the government’s final approval, SK Telecom, the parent company of SK Broadband, is expected to proceed with the merger as planned by April 1.

SKT previously postponed the merger twice, largely due to the delayed approval from the Fair Trade Commission.

By Shim Woo-hyun (