Vodafone Idea, the operator created by the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, is seeking to reclaim an INR33 billion ($444 million) guarantee it was required to pay India’s government to secure approval for the deal, The Economic Times (ET) reported.
The new operator argued in a petition to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal the demand for bank guarantees was “arbitrary, discriminatory, illegal and unenforceable”, ET said.
In July the two operators paid a combination of cash and bank guarantees to the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to clear the last major hurdle for the merger, which closed in August. The DoT demanded both companies pay one-time spectrum charges for the deal to go ahead. The fees relate to the market price of non-auctioned airwaves, less the entry fee paid when the spectrum was allotted.
Vodafone paid INR39 billion and Idea INR33 billion in guarantees for spectrum-related costs to settle a long-standing dispute.
The tribunal will review the case on 20 October, the newspaper said.
Vodafone Idea previously twice asked the DoT to recalculate the dues, with no action taken.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back