The deal gives the Li family control of an estimated two-thirds of the mobile phone market and virtually all fixed phone lines. Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Telecommunications has 1.4 million mobile phone subscribers, making it the SAR's biggest mobile phone operator. Cable & Wireless HKT comes second with nearly one million subscribers. With 3.7 million mobile phone subscribers, Hong Kong has one of the highest market penetrations in Asia. HKT owns 3.6 million fixed phone lines, or 97 per cent of the market. Hutchison, a relative newcomer to the market, shares the remaining three per cent with rivals New World and AT&T. HKT also runs the largest Internet service provider, with 700,000 users. Besides launching Internet company Tom.com, Mr Li has also just started his own broadband network. Just two years ago, the Government encouraged the then Hongkong Telecom to take over mobile phone and paging company Pacific Link. 'They wanted to put competitive pressures on Hutchison,' said Dr Lam Pun-lee, associate professor of business studies at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Mr Li is chairman of Hutchison Whampoa, parent company of Hutchison Telecommunications. The deputy chairmen are his two sons, Victor and Richard. 'We are separate companies,' said a spokeswoman for Hutchison Telecommunications yesterday, referring to her company and Pacific Century CyberWorks. A spokeswoman for the Office of the Telecommunications Authority said: 'No matter who buys Hongkong Telecom, it will have to abide by the terms and conditions of the licensee's conditions [given to HKT].' Consumer Council spokesman Kenneth So Wai-sand said the council would keep a close watch on the market.