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Business deals

Telstra to buy Digicel Pacific for $1.6bn to block China influence

Australian government will front $1.33bn to back the deal

With China building its influence in the region, Telstra said the Australian government approached it to help it buy the business.   © Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) -- Telstra said on Monday it agreed to buy the Pacific operations of telecom firm Digicel Group in a $1.6 billion deal largely funded by the Australian government and seen as a way to contain China's rising influence in the region.

The government will front $1.33 billion of the total value, with Telstra contributing the rest, the Australian telco and the government said in a statement.

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