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UCC launches public consultation process ahead of American Tower Corporation and Eaton Tower Uganda merger

UCC has launched public consultation over Eaton Towers takeover by ATC amid competition concerns. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA — Till September 2, 2019, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the communications sector regulator will receive citizens’ opinions and comments on transfer/merge license by Eaton Towers Uganda Ltd and ATC Uganda limited and application for grant of a license by ATC Heston Bv.

In the public consultation process launched on August 19, 2019, UCC wants sector players and the public to provide written comments, if any, regarding the looming merger.

ATC Uganda Limited and Eaton Towers Uganda Limited were both granted Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) licenses by the Commission on August 22, 2015 and April 17, 2012 respectively to provide infrastructure services in Uganda.

The PIP licenses are for a period of fifteen (15) years.

However, Ibrahim Bbossa, the Head Public and International Relations at the UCC, Eaton Towers Uganda Ltd applied to the UCC for consent to transfer its license to ATC Heston BV Netherlands.

Mr. Bbossa said was accompanied by an application for grant of a PIP license from ATC Heston BV Netherlands in accordance with section 42(3) of the Act.

ATC Heston BV Netherland is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT Netherlands Cooperatief, which holds a majority interest in ATC Uganda Limited.

Should the application for transfer of license from Eaton Towers Uganda Ltd to ATC Heston BV be approved by the UCC, there will be a merger of interest, ownership and operations between ATC Uganda Limited and Eaton Towers Uganda Limited.

If approved, the proposed transactions will render ATC Uganda Limited, a dominant provider of passive infrastructure services in the telecommunications sector in Uganda.

In accordance with section 38(2) (d) of the Act and Regulation 7(2)(d) of the Telecommunications (Licensing) Regulations SI No. 20 of 2005, the Commission is required to consider the public interest before determining whether or not to grant an application for grant/merger of license.

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