Idea fined Rs 1cr in Spice deal


7 Apr 2011
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MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has directed Idea Cellular, the country's fifth-biggest mobile carrier, to seek prior permission from the Telecommunications Ministry for transfer of six telecoms licences it gained from the acquisition of a smaller rival.

Idea has also been directed to pay Rs one crore ($225,073) for suppressing information on its deal with Spice, the Delhi High Court said in an order posted on its website.

Idea denied wrongdoing and said it would appeal against the order.

"Idea stands upright, has not suppressed anything at all, let alone willfully, and will appeal for what it believes is right," the company said in a statement.

In 2008, Idea agreed to buy smaller rival Spice in a three-way deal that also gave Malaysia's Axiata about a fifth of Idea.

In April, the company said it had "unconditionally offered" to surrender overlapping licences to comply with rules, as both Idea and Spice held separate licences for same operating zones.

Under Indian rules, no firm is allowed to own 10 per cent or more in two competing companies operating in a zone.

Source: timesofindia
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