Thursday, 24 May 2018

Bharti Airtel completes merger with Telenor India

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Monday 14 May 18

The merger will provide Bharti Airtel with around 40 million additional subscribers

India's Telecoms Department has approved the merger of Telenor India and India's biggest carrier Bharti Airtel.  In a statement to the press, India's Telecoms Department confirmed that ownership of Telenor India's assets had been transferred to Bharti Airtel…

India's Telecoms Department has approved the merger of Telenor India and India's biggest carrier Bharti Airtel. 

In a statement to the press, India's Telecoms Department confirmed that ownership of Telenor India's assets had been transferred to Bharti Airtel. 

"The present merger is taken on record without prejudice to the rights, contentions, remedies and steps which may be taken by the department, in pursuance of any subsequent orders of any orders, judgements and decisions of Hon’ble courts and tribunals in related pending matters," the statement read. 

According to a report in the Economic Times of India, the merger will provide Bharti Airtel with an additional 43.4MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band. In addition, Bharti Airtel will gain an additional 40million subscribers spread across six Indian provinces, including Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 

The move will help Bharti Airtel consolidate its position in the market and help it to compete with its key rival Reliance Jio, as well as the soon to be formed entity from the Vodafone / Idea merger. 

“We believe today’s agreement is in the best interest of our customers, employees and Telenor Group. Finding a long term solution to our India business has been a priority for us, and we are pleased with our agreement with Airtel. The decision to exit India has not been taken lightly. After thorough consideration, it is our view that the significant investments needed to secure Telenor India’s future business on a standalone basis would not have given an acceptable level of return,” Sigve Brekke, chief executive officer of Telenor Group, when the proposed deal was announced last year. 

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