Merged entity can hold up to 50% market share

The empowered group of ministers (EGoM) has finally allowed merger between two or more mobile operators whereby the merged entity can hold up to 50 percent market share in a circle.

In case, if the merged entity breaches 50 percent ceiling in any circle, the merged entity will get a year to lower the market share up to 50 percent.
Earlier, the merged entity as per M&A guidelines (mergers and acquisitions) can hold up to 35 percent market share in a circle.

In case of 3G, the merged entity can hold two carriers of spectrum. The merged entity will not require to surrender any additional carrier as currently, the 3G operators have only one carrier of 5 MHz spectrum.

In case of 2G, the merged entity will have to pay the difference between the entry fee and the auction-determined price of spectrum beyond 4.4 MHz in the GSM band and 2.5 MHz in the CDMA band, if the spectrum was originally acquired by paying the entry fee.

On the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned in the 1,800 Mhz band, the government has increased it from 298 MHz to 403 MHz. The Supreme Court had mandated that all spectrum freed up by cancellation of 122 licences post its February ruling needs to be put up for auction.

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