Telecom operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced a merger earlier this year due to the cutthroat competition in the Indian market. Back then, both the companies admitted that the merger will be completed in six quarters. Today, a new report cites that the merger deal is expected to be completed by March 2018, as all regulatory approvals are likely to be achieved by then.
A report from PTI says that "There are only two permission left in the amalgamation scheme of the Idea and Vodafone. It should be completed by end of the current financial year." The source of the publication, however, chose to be anonymous. Also, the publication reached out to Vodafone and Idea; unfortunately, they're yet to respond.
Currently, both the operators are preparing to put the merger application in front of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which will be followed by the approval of Department of Telecom (DoT).
"Idea Cellular will hold a meeting of shareholders and creditors on October 12 to seek their approval for the amalgamation of Vodafone India's business with itself," further added the report.
This meeting of equity shareholders, secured creditors and unsecured creditors to take in Gandhinagar, and it will be convened with the direction of the NCLT bench at Ahmedabad.
Already, the proposed merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular has received a nod from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). If the merger secures all the necessary approvals, then the new operator will become India's largest telecom operator with just over 400 million subscribers and 40% revenue market share.
The merger is equally important for both the telecom operators because they have started losing subscribers in a big number. According to Trai data, Vodafone lost 2,404,807 customers, followed by Idea Cellular with 2,898,508 subscribers. That said, industry leader Bharti Airtel also lost some subscribers, but not by a huge margin.
Both the operators are not launching any new tariff plans in recent times, which is the reason why they're losing subscribers. Hopefully, after the merger, both the operators can up the game and launch new tariff plans. Idea and Vodafone are yet to announce the name of the yet-to-be-merged entity.