Published On: Mon, Jul 19th, 2021
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Australian Government Moves to Block China via Telco Takeover of Pacific Telecomon July 19, 2021 at 11:23 pm

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The Australian government is backing telecommunications giant Telstra to potentially buy out Digicel’s mobile operations in the South Pacific, amid concerns a Chinese-backed company could swoop in and establish a foothold for Beijing to expand its influence. On July 19, Telstra confirmed discussions were underway for a buyout, but there was no certainty around a deal. “Telstra was initially approached by the Australian government to provide technical advice in relation to Digicel Pacific which is a commercially attractive asset and critical to telecommunications in the region,” according to an investor announcement (pdf). “If Telstra were to proceed with a transaction, it would be with financial and strategic risk management support from the government,” it continued. “In addition to a significant government funding and support package, any investment would also have to be within certain financial parameters with Telstra’s equity investment being the minor portion of the overall transaction.” The federal …

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