Telenor Facing $58 Million Fine for Merger Rules Infraction
Published on: 17th Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Telenor is facing a potential fine from the Indian regulators of USD58 million over an administrative issue dating back to its former joint venture in 2010.
In 2010, it's former joint venture with Unitech merged seven holding companies into one single unit. The company said this was done with full authority of the Delhi High Court.
At the heart of the issue is a regulation that barred a winner of radio spectrum in the controversial 2008 GSM license allocation from selling their assets within three years, or having not met coverage requirements.
Although the merging of the seven holding companies into one did not change the ownership in any way, the Department of Telecom has still decided that this is a technical sale of assets, and hence forbidden.
It is considering imposing a fine of Rs350 crore (USD58 million) on Telenor.
The company said that it had not been formally notified of the issue yet, but believes that all its actions were in accordance with the law at the time.