DoT digs in heels over spectrum guarantee for Telenor/Airtel tie-up

4 May 2018

The long-delayed merger of Bharti Airtel and Telenor India is set to be prolonged further, as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approached the Supreme Court to overturn a decision from Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), the Economic Times writes. The TDSAT had ordered the DoT to approve Airtel’s takeover of Telenor without the submission of a bank guarantee relating to one time spectrum charge (OTSC) fees of around INR17 billion (USD254.8 million) for the duo, on the basis that the validity of the OTSC fee remains sub judice, the subject of another long-standing legal dispute. The merger deal was agreed back in February 2017 and has been greenlit by the nation’s other regulatory agencies. Continuing delays are creating further problems for the Norwegian-owned cellco, which is now accumulating daily losses pushing the provider closer to filing for bankruptcy, as reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last month.

India, Bharti Airtel, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Telenor India