CCI has approved Airtel's deal to take over the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra). The deal comes at a time when the telecom sector, bruised by tariff war and mounting losses, is in a consolidation mode as major players seek to merge their position.
The deal will also require the approval of SEBI, stock exchanges, NCLT and Telecom Department among others. For Airtel, the deal would be the seventh acquisition in five years. With the transaction, Airtel will take over 4 crore customers of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd (TTML) in 19 telecom circles or zones, 17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML, on "a debt-free cash-free basis".
These circles represent bulk of India's population and customer base. The transaction will also provide Bharti Airtel with an indefeasible right to use (IRU) for part of the existing fibre network of Tata. While all of the Rs. 31,000 crore debt will remain with the Tata, Airtel will assume close to 20% of the Rs. 9,000-10,000 crore deferred payments for the spectrum.