TRAI floats consultation paper on merger norms

TRAI floats consultation paper on merger norms

New Delhi: The telecom regulator has floated a fresh consultation paper seeking to deliberate with stakeholders on reforms needed to simply and fast track merger and acquisition norms.

Written comments have been invited by 18 October and counter comments by 1 November, the regulator said late on Thursday.

“What reforms are required to be made in existing guidelines on transfer or merger of licences to enable simplification and fast tracking of approvals...what changes are required in unified licence provisions to make them unambiguous," the regulator asked.

Trai’s paper comes after the department of telecommunications asked for the regulator’s suggestions as the government aims to simplify and facilitate compliance obligations under the National Digital Communications Policy.

To be sure, post Jio’s entry in September 2016, the sector has seen heavy consolidation.

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced their merger in March 2017 and the merged entity now has the largest subscriber base.

Bharti Airtel acquired Telenor, Tikona Digital and the consumer mobility business of the Tata group, while Reliance Communications and Aircel have opted for insolvency.