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Vodafone, Idea Cellular, May Start Operating as One Entity from April

Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone Group Plc’s Indian unit are likely to start operating as a single unit from April. The two companies, which are currently negotiating one of the most complex mergers in India, will create the world’s second largest and India’s largest telecom operator, surpassing Bharti Airtel Ltd, post completion of the merger process. It will have almost 400 million customers with 35 percent customer share and 41 percent revenue market share. It will have a revenue of Rs 81,600 crore and an operating profit of Rs 24,400 crore.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the proposed merger between Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular. The two companies now require only the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approval to proceed with the merger, having already received clearance from both the antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in July. Since the Idea–Vodafone merger itself is the result of consolidation triggered by a price war started by Jio, it is unlikely that the merged entity will be a price warrior itself. It will focus on profitability and revenue.

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