Idea-Spice merger: TDSAT asked to resolve transfer of licenses

The Delhi High Court today asked the telecom tribunal TDSAT to resolve the dispute on the transfer of Unified Access Services (UAS) licenses of Spice to Idea which got amalgamated in 2008.

A bench of of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, which concurred with the findings of the company judge on merger row of the two telecom firms, however, modified one of the aspects of the earlier judgement and said the transfer of UAS licenses would be dealt by the TDSAT. "We, thus, modify the impugned orders of the Company Judge omitting the direction which states that overlapping licenses of Spice shall forthwith stand transferred with the licensor that is Department of Telecommunication.

"Instead, we substitute this by the direction that in so far as dispute about transfer of licenses of Spice to Idea is concerned, the same shall be decided and determined by the TDSAT and the parties. It will also be open to the TDSAT to determine the arrangement in the interregnum. The appeal of the appellant (Idea Cellular) is partly allowed to the aforesaid extent and that of DoT," it said. The judgement came on Idea Cellular's plea, challenging the Company Judge's verdict, which had held that the UAS licences of Spice Communications could not be transferred to Idea, as the licence and merger guidelines were not followed by the firms.

Earlier, it was held that the Idea Cellular had not put the rejection letters by DoT on merger of licence and did not place on record some relevant documents. It was held that six overlapping licenses of Spice would not be transferred to the Aditya Birla group firm till prior permission of DoT is obtained and meanwhile, the UAS Licenses would be reverted back to DoT. The division bench today modified this aspect and asked TDAST to look into it.


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Story first published: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 0:00 [IST]
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