Anti-trust watchdog the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of its mobile tower division Bharti Infratel and infrastructure joint venture Indus Towers, the Economic Times reports. The enlarged company will control over 163,000 towers across all 22 service areas, and claims that it would be the largest tower company in the world by towers outside of China. Indus is currently controlled by Airtel (42.00%), Vodafone India (42.00%) and Idea Cellular (11.15%) and Providence (4.85%). Under the terms of the merger agreement, Vodafone would be offered 783.1 million new shares in the enlarged company in exchange for its 42% stake in Indus, whilst Idea would be given the option to either sell its 11.15% stake in Indus or to receive new shares in the combined entity. Minority shareholder Providence similarly has the option to part-sell its 4.85% shareholding in Indus: it may receive either cash or shares for the first 3.35% of its shareholding, with the remaining 1.5% to be exchanged for shares. Airtel and Vodafone will jointly control the combined company, in line with the terms of a new shareholders’ agreement. The deal is expected to close by the end of March 2019.