DoT okays Tata Tele merger with Airtel
Telecom operator Tata Teleservices on Thursday said the department of telecom (DoT) has approved the merger of its consumer mobile business with Bharti Airtel.
“The DoT approval is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the DoT till the telecom petition No. 22 of 2019 filed by Bharti Airtel, which is pending before the TDSAT (and appeal, if any, against the judgment(s) of the TDSAT) is disposed of,” Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) said.
Bharti Airtel had on July 1 announced that the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) has now become its part.
The department, however, did not take the merger on record and asked Bharti Airtel to submit a bank guarantee of around Rs 7,000 crore and an immediate payment of Rs 1,287.97 crore before it takes the merger of Airtel and Tata’s consumer mobile business on record.
The TDSAT on May 2, 2019 granted partial stay on a Rs 8,287 crore demand raised by the telecom department from Bharti Airtel for approving its merger with the consumer business of TTSL.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had ordered the DoT to take on record the merger and approval of the schemes of arrangement by Delhi and Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
The DoT challenged the telecom tribunal before the Supreme Court and the matter is still sub-judice.
Bharti Airtel submitted only Rs 644 crore as directed by the TDSAT to complete the merger. As part of the merger, Airtel has absorbed Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile business operations in 19 telecom circles — 17 under TTSL and two under Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra). It also agreed to take over a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata Teleservices.
The merger bolsters Airtel’s radiowaves pool with an additional 178.5 MHz spectrum in 1800, 2100 and 850 MHz bands, widely used for 4G.
Rs 3-trillion club
Bharti Airtel has joined the elite club of Rs 3-trillion market capitalisation as shares of the telecom services provider hit a new high of Rs 550, up 3 per cent on the BSE on Thursday in intra-day trade.