India is reportedly close to adopting a new policy which will make it easier for mergers and acquisitions in the telecoms market, as the country’s plans for the auction of 2G spectrum following its recent licence cancellations was also in the spotlight.
According to Reuters, the country will in April announce a policy that will allow telcos to combine, up to the point where the integrated business has a 35 percent market share. The intention is to make transactions an “easy and simple process,” in a market that already has a large number of small players alongside several leaders.
Such a move has been long anticipated, but has yet to come to fruition.
Separately, Indian publication The Economic Times said that established players Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Aircel are to call on the regulators not to discriminate against the older players when it re-issues spectrum following the cancellation of 122 2G licences earlier this year.
It is believed these operators are arguing that the process is about “airwaves and not licences,” and therefore should be open to more established operators.
However, it was also suggested that some of the new-entrants who had lost their permits were calling for the new issue to be about “fresh licences,” thus ruling out the participation of the incumbents.
According to previous reports, a consultation period on the re-issue is set to close today, with the authorities looking to a swift resolution to the issue. However, it was also noted that some operators have threatened to appeal the shut-down orders, which could delay the process.