DoT to challenge Airtel-TTSL deal in Supreme Court

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is set to challenge the deal between Airtel and Tata Teleservices (TTSL) in the Supreme Court, PTI reported.
TTSL exit
DoT official said the Department of Telecom has directed all circle heads to treat Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices as separate entities. DoT asked all its entities to deal customer acquisition process and all compliance related issues of both Airtel and TTSL as separate companies.

“The department has written to all telecom circles heads on November 6 that it has not yet taken on record the transfer or merger of the demerged undertakings of TTSL to Bharti Airtel and Bharti Hexacom and transfer or merger of the demerged undertakings of TTML to Bharti Airtel,” an official source said.

Bharti Airtel on July 1 announced that the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices has now become its part.

The DoT has written that it is in process of two separate special leave petitions before the Supreme Court. The department in the communication to circle heads asked them to audit customer acquisition form of both companies separately and even the compliance related to subscriber base should be handled separately.

DoT has directed circle heads that there should be segregation of CAF audit process of Airtel and Tata Teleservices such as submission of separate subscriber database, submission of separate sampled CAF’s, calculation of separate compliance percentage and issuance of separate demand notice for imposition of penalty of Airtel and Tata Teleservices.

Bharti Airtel has been submitting Tata Teleservices subscriber base as part of its overall customer base July onwards.

Bharti Airtel spokesperson said both the parties have operationalised the merger following the telecom tribunal TDSAT’s (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) order directing the DoT to take the merger on record and approval of the schemes of arrangement by the NCLT, Delhi and NCLT, Mumbai.

“The DoT was duly notified of the same. The Registrar of Companies has taken the merger on record. Airtel adheres to the highest standards of corporate governance and compliance,” the Airtel spokesperson said.

In June, Airtel recorded mobile subscriber base of 320 million and Tata Teleservices 10.7 million. In July, Airtel reported mobile subscriber base of 328.5 million which includes customer base of Tata Teleservices as well.