The country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for clearance of its acquisition of spectrum from Aircel and Videocon. The operator moved the fair trade regulator this week for its approval on both transactions. Last year in April, Bharti had entered into a `3,500-crore deal with Aircel to acquire the latter’s 2300 Mhz (BWA) spectrum in eight telecom circles – Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Bihar, J&K, West Bengal, Assam, North-East, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The acquisition will make Bharti the country’s second-largest holder of 4G spectrum in 2,300 Mhz band in all 22 circles after Reliance Jio Infocomm, which also holds the 4G spectrum in all the circles. Separately, Bharti has also moved the anti-monopoly body on clearance of its acquisition of 10 Mhz spectrum each in the 1800 Mhz band from Videocon
Telecommunication in the six circles of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West). In March 2016, Bharti entered into a Rs 4,428-crore deal with Videocon to acquire the latter’s spectrum in six circles as the latter decided to exit the telecom business on account of mounting losses. Both the agreements have been cleared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Now, Bharti has a total of 225.9 Mhz spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band and 470 Mhz in the 2300 Mhz band.
No proceedings against Malaysian accused in Aircel-Maxis case: Court
PTI adds: In an embarrassment to the CBI, a court on Thursday refused to initiate proceedings to declare Malaysian nationals Ralph Marshall and T Ananda Krishnan as absconders in the Aircel-Maxis case, saying it was not clear whether they deliberately evaded the summons. This is the second setback to the probe agency in the case as special CBI judge OP Saini had on February 2 discharged former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and two firms for want of incriminating material.
The court on Thursday also adjourned the case sine die (with no appointed date for resumption) since it felt that the chances of execution of warrant against Marshall and Krishnan were very bleak. In its order, the court said the Malaysian government refused to serve the summons to the accused residing there. However, there was no material to indicate that they were responsible for this stand of government of Malaysia or that they were in the know of these proceedings.
-Rishi Ranjan Kala