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Australia Approves Takeover Of No. 2 Telecom Co.

By Edwin Whenmouth The federal government of Australia has approved the takeover of the country's second largest telecommunications company, Cable & Wireless Optus Ltd., by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel). The Australian $14 billion (US$7.5 billion) deal for a 52.5% stake in Optus was under scrutiny because Optus satellites carry sensitive defense communications, including those with the United States. Defense Minister Peter Reith explained that SingTel has agreed to strict conditions that would "properly preserve and protect Australia's national interest."

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