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The Lowdown: India’s Telecom M&A Rules

Following the 2G auctions, which concluded last week, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has finally released the much-awaited merger and acquisition guidelines for the telecom sector. These guidelines are expected to pave the way for consolidation in the sector with major telcos acquiring struggling telcos for more spectrum in the country while providing an exit route to these telcos. The process seems to have begun with India’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel inking a strategic agreement to acquire the operations of Mumbai-based Loop Mobile earlier this week. DoT also mentions that it has decided, in-principle, to allow trading of spectrum. Remember that TRAI had released its final spectrum trading recommendations last month, wherein it had recommended outright spectrum transfer and a two years lock-in period. Livemint says these guidelines will now be placed before the cabinet for approval by February 27. You can download the guidelines here. Telco M&A Rules -…

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