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DoT seeks legal view on the Vodafone-Idea merger

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MUMBAI: DoT (Department of Telecommunications) is seeking for legal opinion on the Vodafone-Idea merger in respect to Vodafone?s administratively allocated spectrum holdings. It is also seeking legal opinion on whether this would be wilful disobedience of the court.

According to the merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines, for such spectrum holdings of acquired entity, the acquirer has to pay differential between the market determined price and the entry fee.

Such payments have to be made for 4.4 MHz of spectrum on a pro-rata basis for the remaining period of licence validity.

The issue now is that, with Vodafone being acquired by Idea, whether DoT should raise the demand on Idea Cellular of the differential amount. 

Vodafone had challenged these demands with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), but part of the demand i.e. Rs 2,000 crore out of the Rs 6,700 crore had already been paid on the directions of the Supreme Court.

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