Telenor and Unitech to look for amicable split
Telenor of Norway and its Indian joint venture partner Unitech have begun talks to move towards an out-of-court settlement to end their bitter dispute over the future of wireless operator Uninor. According to the Economic Times, which cites a source with direct knowledge, the heads of Telenor India and Unitech met to discuss an amicable exit from their joint venture. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, Telenor sought to end its partnership with Unitech following the cancellation of Uninor’s operating licences in February this year. Telenor intends to continue operations in India with a new partner, if the terms for the spectrum auction are deemed reasonable, but has been blocked by Unitech which fears that Telenor will transfer the joint venture’s assets to another company. The two have been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute over the split.
In related news, the Business Standard reports that the Indian government has established an inter-ministerial group (IMG) composed of representatives from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Economic Affairs to handle legal notices served by Russia’s Sistema Group regarding the cancellation of its subsidiary’s licences. Sistema invoked the bilateral investment protection agreements signed by the Russian and Indian governments and has threatened international arbitration.