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Malaysia’s communications regulator has given Celcom and Digi the greenlight to advance on their proposed joint venture.

According to a statement released by Digi, Telenor Group’s Malaysian subsidiary, the two major telecom operators have “received a Notice of No Objection from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)” to go ahead with the proposal.

The notice came a year after Celcom and Digi submitted the merger application to the government. With it, both companies are now moving forward to deliver improved network quality and coverage. The merged companies are expecting to invest in network expansion to back the increasing demand for data and digitalization.

Furthermore, Digi and Celcom are now planning to boost 5G capabilities.

Chairman of Axiata, Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, was quoted in the statement as saying, “We thank the MCMC for their approval and guidance to reach this significant milestone. We reiterate our commitment to ensure that the proposed merger delivers benefits to the nation as a whole. It is aimed at combining the best of Celcom and Digi so that our customers and community have good options in accessing solutions to participate more equitably in this digital era.”

Meanwhile, Digi’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Haakon Bruaset Kjoel, added,  “Today brings us a step closer to creating a strong Malaysian company with the combined scale, experience, network, and innovation leadership to drive Malaysia’s digital growth in the coming years. Together, Celcom and Digi will bring better innovations to meet our customers’ growing digital needs and for all participating in the digital economy to capture new growth opportunities in a fast-changing world. We will now focus on completing the remaining necessary steps to conclude this transaction and work on delivering a seamless integration programme to bring the vision and value of the merged entity to reality for the benefit of many.”

The completion of the merger will now be determined by the decision of the Securities Commission, Bursa Malaysia, by both Axiata and Digi shareholders, and other customary terms and conditions. The new merged company will then be named Celcom Digi Berhad and will continue to be listed on Bursa Malaysia.

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