TDSAT stays DoT demand for Tata takeover

3 May 2019

The Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has stayed the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT’s) demand for dues relating to one time spectrum charges (OTSC) as a condition for its approval of Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile division, the Economic Times reports. The DoT has asked for bank guarantees totalling around INR92.9 billion (USD1.3 billion) for pending OTSC on Tata’s frequencies. The court ruled that similar demands had been stayed by other courts, and directed the DoT to clear to the takeover deal, which had first been agreed by the two parties back in October 2017. However, as part of its order the TDSAT instructed Airtel to submit guarantees for half of the demanded figure within the next four weeks. The DoT is expected to appeal the decision, a person familiar with the matter was cited as saying.