Tuesday, 12 December 2017

India watchdog OKs Bharti/Tata deal

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Friday 17 November 17

Mobile merger clears its first regulatory hurdle but there are still plenty more to overcome

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Bharti Airtel's planned acquisition of Tata Teleservices wireless business, according to a local press report…

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Bharti Airtel's planned acquisition of Tata Teleservices wireless business, according to a local press report.

The move means the deal has cleared its first regulatory hurdle, the Economic Times said, citing a statement from the CCI.

However, the deal still requires various clearances, including the approval of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), company shareholders, and others, the paper said.

Bharti announced a cash-free and debt-free deal to acquire Tata Teleservices' consumer mobile operations a month ago.

Should the deal go ahead, it will see Bharti take over Tata's customer base across 19 telecoms circles: Tata Teleservices operates in 17 circles and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra in two.

Tata has been haemorrhaging customers in recent months, but as of mid-2017 had a mobile subscriber base of 43.7 million, giving it a 3.68% share of the market, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) figures.

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