DoT planning Airtel/TTSL merger challenge at Supreme Court

24 Jul 2019

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is reportedly planning to challenge the merger of Tata Teleservices Limited’s (TTSL’s) consumer mobile business into Bharti Airtel at the Supreme Court, the Economic Times writes, citing an unnamed official source. Airtel completed the takeover on 1 July this year after the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) issued a partial stay on a demand from DoT to submit bank guarantees of around INR70 billion (USD1.01 billion), plus an immediate payment of INR12.9 billion as a condition for its approval of the merger. In line with the TDSAT decision, Airtel submitted just INR6.4 billion to complete the acquisition, following which Airtel absorbed TTSL’s mobile services in 19 circles, along with 178.5MHz of spectrum across the 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 850MHz bands.