M&A Guidelines to be finalised by EGoM later this month

NEW DELHI: The much-awaited Merger and Acquisition (M&A) Guidelines has got further delayed and now the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Telecom is expected to discuss it on 22 November.

The GoM will also study the roadmap for the third round of spectrum auction. "Besides auction related matters, the department of telecom will place before them the M&A guidelines as recommended by the Telecom Commission," a Telecom Ministry official said.

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has suggested about 25 per cent higher base price compared to the amount recommended by sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for radio waves used for mobile phone services for the proposed auction.

The Telecom Commission had only forwarded its view on two sets of airwaves used by GSM players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.

The official said DoT has written today to TRAI to suggest a base price for CDMA spectrum used by players like Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications in 15 days.

TRAI had recommended against auction of CDMA spectrum at present and suggested studying whether a part of these airwaves can be used for extended GSM services.

The official said DoT is working on other details for auction of all three sets of spectrum in third round which is expected to start in January.

Telecom Commission has recommended to allow companies to acquire another operator in a manner that market share of the resultant entity does not exceed 50 per cent.

EGoM will have to decide on spectrum related issues that entity formed as result of consolidation of companies should be allowed to keep.

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