The Department of Telecom (DoT) today approved the merger of Telenor India with Bharti Airtel, according to an official source. “The DoT has approved merger of Telenor India with Bharti Airtel this morning,” the official source told PTI. The Supreme Court last week rejected DoT’s petition for security deposit of around Rs 1,700 crore from the companies and directed it to approve the merger. The guarantee included Rs 1,499 crore for one-time spectrum charge for the radiowaves allocated to Airtel without auction, and over Rs 200 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 per cent, within one year from the date merger of two companies is approved. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had approved the proposed merger on March 8.
- Financial Express