The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has cleared the acquisition of Telenor by the country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel. The tribunal’s two-member bench, headed by its president Justice MM Kumar, said it has approved the merger of Bharti with Telenor (India) Communications with certain conditions, without elaborating further. Bharti has already got the approval from capital markets regulator Sebi, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as well as from the stock exchanges — BSE and NSE — on its acquisition of the Indian arm of Norwegian telecom operator. Now, for the merger to be approved, both the companies have to get clearances from the Department of Telecom (DoT). In February 2017, Bharti had announced that it is acquiring the Indian arm of Telenor in a no-cash deal, a move that will not only increase its revenue market share to more than 35 percent, but also strengthen it in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (East) and UP (West) circles, where its RMS trails the national average. Telenor India’s acquisition, propelled by the September 2016 launch of Jio that has impacted the profits and margins of the firms, will add around 42 million subscribers to Bharti’s user base of more than 290 million as well as add 43.4 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum to the telecom major’s spectrum holdings. – Financial Express 


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