DoT May Scrap Jio’s Complaint Against Airtel-Tikona Digital Deal: Report

India’s telecom department would not take up Reliance Jio’s complaint against Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Tikona Digital’s 4G business, according to an Economic Times report. The Mukesh Ambani-led telco had earlier alleged the Sunil Mittal-led telco was exploiting a gap in M&A rules which could cause an over Rs 217 crore loss to the national exchequer.


Jio had also written a letter to the National Company Law Tribunal seeking intervention and rejection of the proposed Airtel-Tikona transaction to ensure level playing field.

The DoT would not take up the complaint on the ground that the contours of the Airtel-Tikona deal do not fall under its purview. A senior official told the publication that structuring of corporate deals is not part of the telecom department’s mandate. However, if the deal breaches the spectrum cap clause, then the DoT would flag the issue.

“This is a prima facie case of revenue loss for the exchequer demanding your urgent attention. The DoT should not approve the proposed Airtel-Tikona transaction till Airtel has paid the differential license fee for migrating the BWA spectrum from ISP (internet service provider) license to UL (Unified License),” Reliance Jio had said in the letter.

Jio alleged that Airtel-Tikona deal is structured as an M&A one to circumvent spectrum trading guidelines which only permit trading between access service providers and not from ISP holders.

However, the Sunil Mittal-led telecom operator denied the allegations and said that Jio is trying to block competition through its acts.

Airtel on March 23 inked agreement to acquire Tikona Digital’s 4G business, along with its 4G spectrum, in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan circles for Rs 1,600 crore.

Jio in its letter to the DoT said that Bharti Airtel needs to pay a fee to the government for migrating Tikona’s BWA spectrum from an internet service provider (ISP) license to the Unified License (UL) regime, which allows a company to offer voice services.

Jio said the government should refund Rs 1,658 crore that it had paid in 2013 for a similar migration to UL, in case Airtel doesn’t pay the fee.

Jio, citing the UL guidelines, said, “To migrate from ISP with BWA spectrum to the UL regime with authorisation for providing access services, an additional fee equal to the difference between the entry fee for UASL (unified access service licence) and entry fee paid for ISP licence shall be payable in addition to the entry fee as applicable for new UL.”

Jio also requested an urgent intervention by the telecom department and had asked the department to amend the M&A guidelines to clarify the payment for migration upfront ahead of giving approval to an M&A deal.

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13 Comments on "DoT May Scrap Jio’s Complaint Against Airtel-Tikona Digital Deal: Report"


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June 20, 2017 8:32 pm 8:32 PM

Good TRAI.. Sometimes its favouring Jio, like continuous 7 months (Sep to March end) of FREE offers are OK and FREE Unlimited calls for Rs149 are NOT predatory. Sometimes it favors AVoId, like this and stopping SuSu offer. May be they want to be non-partial or want to appear to be so.

June 20, 2017 8:07 pm 8:07 PM

I don’t know why jio is not installing network at my location despite 3 dozens normal complaints and some appellate.
Who will address my concern? Any options.
My location Jamalpur, BHOJPUR, bihar, 802163. Near jamalpur Market.
If somebody will help in establishing a site here, will transfer 400 successfully to paytm to his/her a/c.

June 21, 2017 1:52 pm 1:52 PM

jio not install tower your if population is low go to hills area and check no jio only airtel so always airtel is no 1 in primary sim or 400rs mai tower nhi lgta 500core lagte hai lagane mai bribe some higer amount

June 21, 2017 12:02 am 12:02 AM

Tweet DOT Twitter handle sure will Jio engineer will come to home check coverage …my Friend from Thane got this problem. And solved by them visiting home by Jio team after complaint yo DOT in twitter

June 20, 2017 10:44 pm 10:44 PM

Use PG Portal and reopen a new ticket if they close the existing one. Do this a few times and you’ll get your BTS.

June 21, 2017 12:52 pm 12:52 PM

How to register complaints through pg portal?

Akshay dhir
June 20, 2017 9:12 pm 9:12 PM

You can complain on pg portal
Pg portal will send your complaint to higher authority of jio in mumbai
The will call you in one week
But i dont need any money

June 20, 2017 9:08 pm 9:08 PM

Really? A bribe..

June 20, 2017 6:59 pm 6:59 PM