Haim Saban, the owner of mobile carrier Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. Saban was in Israel for the launch of Partner's new brand after the break up with Orange.
Saban is close to and a big supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and therefore the meeting with Netanyahu is expected to revolve around politics rather than business. However, Saban will likely raise Partner's difficulties in competing in Israel's communications market and will try to obtain regulatory balances in the face of the many allowances that Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) receives from the Ministry of Communications.
Netanyahu is acting Minister of Communications and Partner feels that policy towards Bezeq is too one-sided.
To date, Saban has not intervened with the government on behalf of Partner and has left the work to his business CEO and the company's chairman Adam Chesnoff. Even when Saban owned Bezeq, he did not involve himself with the business and focused more on politics and attempts to help Israel in its diplomatic relations with the US.
Partner's main concern now is that the Ministry of Communications will cancel bezeq's structural separation. Partner and Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) have asked Ministry of Communications director general Shlomo Filber not to make decisions with far reaching consequences for the communications market without consulting with them.
The efforts seems to have borne fruit and despite no commitments from Filber, in practice he seems to be attentive to their claims.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 18, 2016
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