Telecom Commission to discuss mergers and acquisitions rules on February 17

Telecom Commission to discuss mergers and acquisitions rules on February 17
Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC) is scheduled to meet on February 17 to discuss mergers and acquisitions (M&A) rules for the sector.

"TC is scheduled for February 17," said an official.

The panel is likely to discuss the final guidelines for the sector's first M&A policy which has been pending for long.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has already approved M&A guidelines but it has sought legal opinion as to whether the consolidation activity would amount to sale of equity, violating lock-in period rule of telecom licence.

As per the guidelines approved by EGoM, market share of a merged entity should not exceed 50 percent.

Telecom companies, which procured spectrum through auctions, would not have to pay additional money to government for radiowaves. However, if a company acquires a telecom operator that was allocated spectrum at old rate of Rs. 1,658 crore, then it will need to pay the difference between market rate and old rate to the government.

(Also see : Spectrum auction in progress, government expecting Rs. 11,300 crore)

The TC may also discuss free tablet PC distribution scheme for students in class 10th and 12th. Under the scheme, the government has proposed to distribute 90 lakh tablet PCs to students in government schools.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be about Rs. 4,972 crores in which USOF will fund 60 percent of the total cost - Rs. 2,983.5 crores - for the eligible students in rural areas. DoT will fund 40 percent of the total cost, Rs. 1,989 crores, for eligible students in urban areas.
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