Level playing field is key to any market consolidation

Excerpts from Maxis' CEO Gokhan Ogut's interview

FOR a long time, Maxis Bhd had been one of three dominant telco’s in the Malaysian scene.

But that is about to change with the impending merger underway between its two main rivals Celcom Axiata Bhd and Digi.com Bhd.

Maxis Bhd CEO Gokhan Ogut addresses the matter.

Following are excerpts from a recent interview with StarBizWeek:

What is your general view on the Celcom Axiata Bhd and Digi.com Bhd merger?

Globally there are usually three or four mobile operators in major markets and this is seen in China, United States and South Korea.

We don’t see two. In principle, we support all industry consolidation, but the regulators need to ensure that a healthy level of competition is still maintained after the merger.

So how will Maxis manage competing with the Celcom-Digi major force, post their merger?

You cannot let any company be an imbalanced major force that could disrupt the competition level.

We also need to look at it from the resources perspective.

It creates an imbalance among players. Our regulators have always been careful about making sure that competition is balanced. So, we expect them to do the same going forward.

Will the merger affect Maxis?

It’s a merger of two mobile companies becoming a big mobile company. Our playing field is not mobile only.

Will it impact Maxis’ earnings?

We consider our business now less dependent on mobile than it used to be. So, we don’t expect a change in our strategy nor a big impact on our financials.

Does Maxis need to be of a certain size too?

Size definitely helps but our strategy has always been about growing the business and revenue.

We will continue our organic growth. We will also grow inorganically, so we will also evaluate opportunities to acquire companies.

We will also enter into partnerships, become partners and still get scale. We have many partnerships at work right now.

Will you explore a merger with U Mobile as speculated in the industry?

We are focused on our strategy and our priority is converged solutions, not just mobile.

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