New Delhi: The Department of Telecom (DoT) will settle all issues related to merger and transfer of licenses in the telecom sector on a priority basis, an internal note of the ministry said. “In the last two years, there has been consolidation in the telecom industry involving Vodafone-Idea, Bharti Airtel-Telenor, Bharti Airtel -Bharti Digital Networks Pvt Ltd, Bharti Airtel-Tata Teleservices, and Bharti Airtel-Airtel Broadband services. All issues related to the merger/transfer of licenses to be settled,” said a DoT note on M&A, indicating these top its agenda over the next few months.
The note did not give further details as the roadmap on settling those issue would be worked out shortly. But the settlement is not likely to touch on the spectrum dues part which is already with the telecom tribunals. But all other glitches, which needs to be ironed out at the DoT end, will be looked at, sources said.
Out of all the listed M&As, the Vodafone-Idea, Airtel-Telenor and Airtel-Tata Teleservices mergers have seen skirmishes between DoT and the operators over the spectrum dues of previous licensee period prior to the merger. In the other three cases — Airtel- Telenor, Airtel-Tata Teleservices, and Vodafone-Idea merger cases, the matter has landed at the tribunal, TDSAT.
For Vodafone Idea merger, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular paid DoT a sum of Rs 7,268 crore in July 2018 that was sought as a key condition for approving their merger. Out of this, Rs 3,926.34 crore was paid to the telecom department in cash. (IANS)
Also Read: BUSINESS