Robi Accused Of Non-Compliance Of Merger Condition

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is still unsure about the status of Robi’s merger as the telecom operator is yet to complete all the conditions given by the regulatory body. The telecom regulator has accused Robi of non-compliance of a number of conditions, which also includes non-payment of around Tk. 109-crore dues billed for its merger with Airtel.

The completion of the most talked Robi- Airtel merger was announced on September 16 last year. After that, network merging is completed in a few regions, such as Chittagong and Sylhet and continuing in the other parts of the country.

Robi was asked to fulfill all the conditions within 10days in a letter from BTRC on February 12. In the case of failure to do so, the telecom operator was warned that it would face legal actions. BTRC also mentioned in the letter that the merged entity will have to collect an ‘Order of Merger License’ in order to complete the process.

The government fixed Tk 427.35 crore as the merger fees and Robi paid Tk. 318.52 crores on November 20 last year. The entity is yet to pay the rest amount. The telecom operator did not seek to pay the dues in installment either, according to BTRC officials.

The telecom operator also did not surrender 5MHz EGSM bandwidth. Robi is also yet to submit a report to the commission regarding the joining of Airtel employees to Robi. It was also supposed to inform the commission regarding the implementation of VRS/VSS of Airtel employees those who were not interested in joining in Robi.

Besides, BTRC complained that both Robi and Airtel violated the Telecom Act and the government’s International Long Distance Telecom Services Policy.

With all these complaints, Robi- Airtel merger needs to come up with a faster solution and manage to get the Order of Merger License as soon as possible. In the merged entity, Axiata, the parent company of Robi, will hold a 68.7 percent stake, Bharti Airtel 25 percent and Axiata’s old partner NTT Docomo 6.3 percent stake.

Nahid Farzana

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