DoT to fast-track Loop deal to avoid loss to state coffers

23 Jul 2014

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to fast-track permission for Bharti Airtel to purchase Loop Mobile’s assets, despite objections from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) the Economic Times writes, citing an internal document. The move intends to ensure that Loop is able to pay off its debts, the DoT noting that the government would lose out if Loop was unable to honour its commitments. Airtel agreed to purchase the company’s assets and customers earlier this year with Loop facing closure when its licence expires in Mumbai in November. The TRAI opposed the decision claiming that the plan to transfer customers violated rules on licensing and mobile number portability (MNP), although this position was dismissed by the DoT which pointed out that such a stance would mean that ‘no company will be able to acquire another.’