Airtel-Telenor deal gets DoT approval

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has approved the acquisition of Telenor India by Bharti Airtel, PTI reported.

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The Supreme Court last week rejected DoT’s petition for security deposit of around Rs 1,700 crore from Telenor and Airtel. SC has directed DoT to approve the merger deal between Airtel and Telenor.

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 its market share based on adjusted gross revenue in Bihar circle to 50 percent within one year from the date merger of two companies is approved.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had earlier approved the Airtel-Telenor merger on March 8.

Meanwhile, DoT is yet to give its okay on the proposed merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.