February 14, 2019 / 8:40 AM / 6 months ago

Israel's Bezeq Telecom turns to High Court in bid to merge units

JERUSALEM, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Bezeq Israel Telecom said it will file a petition on Thursday with Israel’s high court to allow it to immediately merge all of its business units into one company, which is opposed by the country’s telecoms regulator.

Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms group, has long sought to merge its lucrative fixed-line division with its mobile telephone, satellite TV and internet service units as a means to save costs and offer bundles.

But the Communications Ministry has refused on grounds Bezeq may use its market dominance to stifle competition.

Bezeq said in a regulatory filing in Tel Aviv that it believes it had “all the conditions justifying and obliging cancellation of the structural separation” as part of a deal in 2012 to create a wholesale market using Bezeq infrastructure.

Bezeq also said its board approved a request from mobile unit Pelephone, internet service provider Bezeq International and TV subsidiary YES to change their corporate structures so that those businesses would be transferred to separate limited partnerships wholly owned by Bezeq. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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