The protracted legal dispute between Reliance Communications (RCom) and Ericsson has been resolved, with the beleaguered operator agreeing to pay a settlement of INR4.6 billion ($67.4 million) to the Swedish vendor.
The sum was decided last month by India’s Supreme Court, and an Ericsson spokesperson confirmed that it has already been paid by RCom - the deadline was today (19th March).
Ericsson and RCom have been at loggerheads since last year, after the vendor demanded payment for a network operations and management deal that the companies struck in 2014. RCom was unable to meet payment deadlines despite several extensions, prompting a response from the Supreme Court.
The involvement of the country’s highest court raised the stakes – last month, the operator and its chairman Anil Ambani were found to be in contempt of court and were ordered to repay Ericsson within four weeks under threat of jail time for Ambani if the deadline was not met.
RCom filed for insolvency earlier this year after government holdups prevented it from selling assets to Reliance Jio. This in turn meant that it was unable to make enough funds available to pay Ericsson back.
However, the payment has now been made despite a further legal setback that occurred at the weekend. RCom is owed a tax refund of INR2.6 billion by its lenders – among them the State Bank of India (SBI) – but has had its release request refused by a tribunal.