The department of telecom (DoT) Monday approved the merger of Telenor India with Bharti Airtel, according to an official. “The DoT has approved merger of Telenor India with Bharti Airtel this morning,” the official said.
The Supreme Court last week rejected DoT’s petition for security deposit of around Rs1,700 crore from the companies and directed it to approve the merger. The guarantee included Rs1,499 crore for one-time spectrum charge for the radiowaves allocated to Airtel without auction, and over Rs200 crore for spectrum payment which Telenor has to make.
The merger will bolster Airtel’s spectrum footprint in seven telecom circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
Telenor India runs operations in seven circles—Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. DoT has asked Airtel to reduce it market share based on adjusted gross revenue (money earned from telecom services) in Bihar service area to the limit of 50%, within one year from the date merger of two companies is approved.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had approved the proposed merger on 8 March.
Source: Livemint, May 14, 2018