Airtel in its feud against Jio has been making audacious attempts on its half to make competitive decisions which would help them put a strong fight against Jio. One such decision was buying the Indian branch of Norway’s Telenor. News comes that Airtel’s offer to buy the telecom giant has finally gone through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Bharti Airtel entered into an agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pte in February 2017 to buy out Telenor India’s operations in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. These circles are Airtel’s big gainers contributing to 35% of the total revenue of the company. Also, Airtel will be taking over the local liabilities of the company.
Bharti Airtel has got reasons to rejoice about this merger as this big step brings a lot to the table for them and give them fuel to capture their lost market share back. This deal gives them 43.4 units of 4G spectrum in the 1800 MHz band thus establishing a stronghold in these prominent circles. This news is reported by Economic Times.
The good news for Airtel doesn’t only end here; the merger has apparently gone through every other body like country’s antitrust regulator, Competition Commission of India (CCI), market regulator Sebi and stock exchanges, BSE and NSE. Now, only the approval of Telecom Department of India (DoT) remains to be seen.
Telenor’s merger will shift all its assets to Bharti Airtel including the high-fi spectrum payment of 1,650 crore and other operational contracts, including tower leases with Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers along with employees and a huge number of 44 million customers.
It seems as if this decision of buyout of the Norwegian company Telenor was a good step for both the parties as Telenor wasn’t faring really well since its inception in the country in 2009 when it rolled out its services with a partnership with Unitech, under the name of Uninor. All of their licenses were later cancelled in the judgement of the infamous 2G scam.