Telstra moves deeper into the Pacific
The Aussie telco giant and the Federal Government are going in together on a deal to buy and operate the largest mobile phone carrier in the Pacific region. Aussie taxpayers are contributing $1.9 billion to acquire Digicel Pacific, while Telstra will stump up $360 million and get 100% ownership. The deal, which is expected to be completed within the next 6 months, is “consistent with Australia’s longstanding commitment to growing quality investment in regional infrastructure,” the government said. But it’s more than a neighbourly gesture… Digicel, which operates across Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tahiti, was being eyed off by China Mobile before Australia got in the game. Like a high-stakes game of chess, the move is seen as an attempt by Australia to counter China’s rising influence in the region.
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