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Almost immediately after MTN put out a statement last week that it had approached smaller rival Telkom about a potential tie-up, the main question was whether the deal — estimated to top R30bn — would get regulatory approval. 

Depending on who one speaks to, the Competition Commission, which feeds the Competition Tribunal information about the market and shares its recommendations on any takeover, could either block the deal outright or impose such heavy conditions that its commercial merits would be undermined. ..

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