Idea-Vodafone merger hits DoT roadblock due to dues?

Vodafone-Idea merger
The merger between Idea Cellular and Vodafone is likely to hit a roadblock as Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will ask the two telecom operators to clear $3 billion or Rs 18,870 crore of dues before the merger, Economic Times reported.

The combined due is relating to pending licence fees, spectrum usage charges (SUC) and one-time spectrum charges.

Earlier DoT secretary Aruna Sundararajan said: “The Idea-Vodafone merger is in the final stages of approval, because they’ve got the NCLT and Sebi clearances. There are some FDI approvals that are involved, there’s liberalization of licenses, so there are a number of clearances and not a one-step clearance, so we’re in the process of expediting it.”

The Idea-Vodafone merger will force Bharti Airtel to take the number two telecom operator status in terms of wireless subscriber base in India.

Idea Cellular and Vodafone in March announced the new leadership team for the combined business.

Kumar Mangalam Birla would be the non-executive chairman of the board of directors of the merged company.

Balesh Sharma, currently chief operating officer of Vodafone India, will be the first chief executive officer of the merged entity — responsible for the combined business’s strategy and its execution as well as driving integration.

Sunil Sood, CEO and MD, Vodafone India will join the Vodafone Group AMAP leadership team and also help governance through Board memberships.