JERUSALEM Nov 29 Cellcom, Israel's
largest mobile phone network operator, said on Tuesday it has
submitted a request to a Tel Aviv court for the liquidation of
Golan Telecom, alleging that the upstart rival owes Cellcom 600
million shekels ($156 million) for using its network.
Cellcom said it had filed a request with the court to
appoint an interim liquidator to Golan, which was launched in
2012 when the government issued new licences to boost
competition in a sector that had been dominated until then by
A spokesman for Golan, owned by French businessmen Michael
Golan and Xavier Niel, the majority owner of French telecoms
group Iliad, declined to comment.
Offering rock-bottom prices that Cellcom and other
competitors have struggled to meet, Golan has taken about 10
percent of Israel's mobile market.
Cellcom tried to buy Golan for about $300 million last year
but Israel's regulators opposed the purchase, arguing such a
deal ran contrary to its efforts to introduce more competition
to the market by having more networks.
Cellcom said it could not anticipate what the court would
decide or what impact the action would have on its ability to
collect the money it says it is owed by Golan or to generate
future revenues from its rival's use of its network.
($1 = 3.8358 shekels)
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Greg Mahlich)