Vodafone India and Idea pay DoT $1B for merger approval

Vodafone India and Idea pay DoT $1B for merger approval

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have completed a payment of INR73 billion ($1 billion) to the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which will enable the companies to complete their merger.

The proposed merger had received all requisite clearances apart from that of the DoT, which in July made its approval conditional on receiving over INR71 billion from the two firms. This final hurdle meant that the companies missed their original goal of completing the merger by the end of June.

Vodafone was required to pay INR39 billion in unpaid spectrum fees related to the 2015 merger of its local units, while Idea has handed over INR33 billion in bank guarantees to cover various spectrum-related charges. Certain other fees and terms were also stipulated by the DoT.

India’s Economic Times reports that the companies handed over the fees “under protest” in order to expedite the merger, with the combined entity planning to launch a legal challenge against them in the future. In the immediate term however, the DoT is expected to approve the deal swiftly.

The newly created entity will become the new market leader in India, with 440 million subscribers according to the Economic Times. The company will be named Vodafone Idea.

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