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Rumor: China Telecom, Unicom Request NDRC Dismiss Probe

21st Century Business Herald, 12/03/11

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has received requests from both China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) and China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) to halt its internet access antitrust probe, according to a source within the NDRC.

According to Article 45 of China's Antitrust Law, if the target companies of an antitrust investigation pledge to take specific measures to eliminate monopolistic practices within a designated time period, the investigating body may terminate the investigation.

A source within the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's (SARFT) Department of Science and Technology revealed on December 2 that the two operators had proposed to lower interconnection fees to China Tietong's network, a clear indication that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is coordinating to bring the three networks closer together. The source said that the NDRC should not end its investigation, as China Telecom and China Unicom's monopolistic practices had harmed consumers in the past, and they should be penalized.

Keywords: regulation China Telecom China Unicom China Tietong antitrust interconnection telecom MIIT SARFT Internet access NDRC 0728.HK 0762.HK 600050.SH CHA CHU Science and Technology Department

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