TDSAT Asks DoT to Approve Airtel-Telenor Merger Without any Bank Guarantee

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The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has now asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to approve the Bharti Airtel and Telenor India merger without any bank guarantee, as per a new report from PTI. The DoT, earlier this month asked the leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel to submit the bank guarantee of around Rs 1,700 crore so that it can approve the proposed merger with Norway-based Telenor. The asked bank guarantee includes Rs 1,499 crore for one-time spectrum charge for the radiowaves allocated to Airtel without any auction and more than Rs 200 crore is the spectrum payments which Telenor is yet to make.


"Regarding the demand for bank guarantee, on Airtel's petition, TDSAT has yesterday directed the DoT to take the merger on record without the need to furnish a bank guarantee. We hope to get the final approval from the DoT soon," Bharti spokesperson said to the publication.

Furthermore, the DoT has also asked for an undertaking from Airtel on which the telco will be including that it will be "liable to any pending dues with respect to the merger of the two companies and all demands which may be raised by any wing of the department for Telenor India."

"A letter of compliance has already been submitted to the DoT on all the mentioned points," the spokesperson further added.

Earlier last year, Telenor India announced a merger with Bharti Airtel, which will boost Airtel' subscriber base along with the 4G spectrum footprint. Post the merger, Airtel's footprint in seven circles (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam) will be boosted with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) already approved the proposed merger of Airtel and Telenor India on March 8. DoT has also directed Airtel to reduce its market share in Bihar telecom circle on the basis of money earned from telecom services (Adjusted Gross Revenue). DoT asked Airtel to reduce the limit to 50% within one year post the merger approval.

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