COAI wants regulator to review telecom M&A guidelines

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to take a comprehensive review of the merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines.

“To facilitate consolidation in the sector, it is important that the M&A guidelines be reviewed and modified to promote orderly growth of the sector,” COAI director general Rajan S. Mathews said in a letter to TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar.
The guidelines were notified in February.
Mathews also noted that the Indian telecom market is a highly competitive market with 12 operators as compared to global average of three to four.
“We request authority to initiate a suo moto consultation on M&A policy so as to enable a comprehensive review of the guidelines with participation of all the stakeholders,” he said.
“It is important to review and put in place conducive M&A policy norms to provide impetus for consolidation in the sector. No M&A activity took place during the last 10 years under the various M&A policy guidelines issued by the DoT (Department of Telecom) from time to time,” Mathews said.