The European Commission has cleared a joint venture between BT, American International Group and the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland to provide telecomms services in the Republic over the electricity network.
"The creation of the new venture is a pro-competitive development in the Irish telecommunications market, which will bring further competition to the incumbent operator," an EC spokersperson said yesterday. "The venture's entry to the Irish market does not prejudice the opportunities for market entry by others."
The parent companies will transfer their Irish activities into the joint venture, with the supply board providing access to certain parts of its infrastructure, but will not be able to offer public voice telephony services until 1 January 2000 under EU telecomms deregulation laws.
Telecom Eireann currently has the exclusive right to supply public telephony and holds a "near monopoly" on the Irish market, the EC said.
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