Peter Costello

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Singapore Telecommunications Limited - Application for Foreign Investment Approval to Acquire Cable & Wireless Optus Limited

NO.060

Singapore Telecommunications Limited - Application for Foreign Investment Approval to Acquire Cable & Wireless Optus Limited

After careful consideration, I have decided to raise no objections under foreign investment policy to the proposal for Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) to acquire Cable & Wireless Optus Limited (Optus), subject to a number of conditions.

The conditions are as follows:

  • Singtel and Optus adhering to the terms of the Deed of Agreement signed with the Commonwealth Department of Defence dated 28 June 2001;
  • Singtel and Optus adhering to the terms of the Deed of Undertaking, agreed with the Commonwealth of Australia and Agencies (as defined by Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1997), dated 1 August 2001; and
  • Prior to implementation of the proposal, Singtel and its relevant subsidiaries provide, to the satisfaction of the Treasurer, confirmation that an export licence by the Office of Defense Trade Controls, U.S. Department of State, is not required for the A3, B1, B3 and C1 satellites, ground support equipment and technical data.

These conditions are designed to protect Australias security interests and are imposed at the request, and with the approval, of the Department of Defence and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO). Undertakings required by the U.S. Department of State have been given by Singtel and Optus, and formal clearance from the Office of Defense Trade Controls, U.S. Department of State that no export licences are required must be received before the acquisition can go ahead on these conditions.

Singtels investment in Australia represents a significant (up to $14 billion) investment. It means that Australias second largest telephone network will be able to provide strong competition to the largest network, owned and operated by Telstra. Consumers will benefit from competition.

The safeguards which have been put in place to protect the national interest are supported by key Australian security agencies.

CANBERRA
22 August 2001

Contact: Niki Savva
02 6277 7340

22 Aug 2001

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