DoT to greenlight Loop deal

3 Nov 2014

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has agreed to approve the acquisition of Loop Mobile by Bharti Airtel, the Business Standard writes. The DoT found that there were no specific provisions prohibiting the sale in the licence terms and as such, Loop and Airtel could go ahead with the transaction. The sale was originally agreed in February this year, when a lack of funds prevented Loop from renewing its concessions in the Mumbai circle. The sale was delayed, however, by opposition from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which claimed that the porting of customers from Loop to Airtel was against the rules for mobile number portability (MNP). Loop put the regulator’s concerns to rest by agreeing to issue a notice to its subscribers regarding its imminent closure, allowing its users sufficient warning to port out to another provider of their choice. By doing so, though, the number of subscribers set to be acquired by Airtel has diminished from nearly three million in March 2014, to around 1.2 million.