New legislation points to consolidation

23 Feb 2004

India’s telecoms regulator has announced the impending introduction of new rules concerning mergers and acquisitions which it hopes will reduce the fragmentation of the country’s rapidly growing telecoms markets. Until now telecoms operators have only been permitted to buy rival operators from outside their own ‘telecom circle’. However, under the government’s new proposals, which will have more bearing on the mobile sector than the fixed line segment, the two leading carriers in any particular circle will be able to merge their operations provided their combined share of subscribers in that circle is below 67%. Amongst those expected to take immediate advantage of the new regulations are Bharti Tele-Ventures and Tata Teleservices.