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Govt gives final nod to Voda-Idea merger

The new telecom behemoth -- Vodafone Idea Limited -- will dislodge Bharti Airtel, the current market leader with 344 million customers from its pole position. 

New Delhi: Government on Thursday gave final approval to the mega-merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular which creates India’s largest mobile operator with about 35 per cent market share and nearly 430 million subscribers.

The new telecom behemoth — Vodafone Idea Limited — will dislodge Bharti Airtel, the current market leader with 344 million customers from its pole position.

A senior DoT official privy to the development confirmed that the final approval has been accorded to the merger on Thursday and the two entities will now apprise the Registrar of Companies (RoC) of the various approvals received, wrapping up the last leg of formalities. The combined might of Idea and Vodafone will result in a telecom juggernaut worth over $23 billion (or over Rs1.5 lakh crore), with a 35 per cent market share and a subscriber base of around 430 million.

Largest Telco

  • The merger is expected to bolster the efforts of the debt-ridden firms Idea Cellular and Vodafone to take on the intense competition in the market where entry of Reliance Jio backed by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has led to a bruising tariff war.
  • Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the non-executive Chairman and Balesh Sharma will be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the largest telecom company.
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