Fair trade regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of the Indian arm of Norwegian telecom operator Telenor with Bharti Airtel.
Fair trade regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of the Indian arm of Norwegian telecom operator Telenor with Bharti Airtel. Last week, the country’s largest telecom operator had got approval from the capital markets regulator Sebi and the stock exchanges – BSE and NSE – on the proposed scheme of merger between Airtel and Telenor (India) Communications. Both, Bharti and Telenor have also filed a joint company application before the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) New Delhi bench for approval of the merger. Besides, NCLT, the firms also need the go ahead from the Department of Telecom (DoT). On February 23, Bharti announced that it is acquiring the Indian arm of Telenor in a no-cash deal, a move that will not only increase its revenue market share to more than 35%, but also strengthen it in Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP (East) and UP (West) circles where its RMS trails the national average. The announcement comes at a time when the telecom industry is witnessing an unprecedented churn following the entry of Reliance Jio forcing market leaders like Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to take the merger route. Jio’s entry also forced other operators like debt-laden Reliance Communication and Aircel to work towards consolidating their operations.