Airtel had recently said that it has completed the Tikona acquisition. (Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg)

Airtel-Tikona Merger Challenged In Supreme Court, Hearing On July 8

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on July 8 the government’s plea challenging an order of a telecom tribunal that stayed its demand of Rs 1,626.89 crore from Bharti Airtel Ltd.

The demand was made for the completion of the Airtel-Tikona merger, following which Tikona Digital Networks Ltd. was renamed as Bharti Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal had taken note of Airtel's plea against the demand put forth by Department of Telecom for spectrum fees, and stayed it.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose took note of the DoT plea for an urgent hearing in the Airtel-Tikona merger case and posted the matter for July 8.

Airtel had recently said that it has completed the Tikona acquisition.

In March 2017, Airtel announced its decision to acquire the 4G business of Tikona, including broadband spectrum and 350 sites across five telecom circles, for about Rs 1,600 crore.

Tikona had 20 MHz spectrum in the 2,300-MHz band, with second largest ecosystem of 4G devices in Gujarat, eastern Uttar Pradesh, western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles.

On Wednesday, Bharti Airtel shares closed flat at Rs 353.40 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.06 percent to end the day at 39,839.25 points.

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