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M1, StarHub oppose SingTel ownership of fiber network

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Seven Singapore telecom firms, including M1 Ltd and StarHub Ltd, on Wednesday asked the government to reject Singapore Telecommunication Ltd's proposed acquisition of the firm developing the city-state's next generation broadband network.

NetLink Trust, a trust controlled by SingTel, has proposed acquiring OpenNet, the consortium developing the broadband network, for S$126 million ($100.47 million) in a deal that requires regulatory approval from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

"If approved, the proposed consolidation would see SingTel becoming the 100 percent beneficial owner of the only other nationwide fixed telecommunications network in Singapore, apart from SingTel's own network," the seven companies said in a joint statement.

"The unprecedented show of solidarity demonstrates the grave concerns the industry has over the competition issues raised by the proposed consolidation, including the potential of discriminatory treatment and a lack of independence," they added.

(Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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