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CCI approves merger of four BWA entities of Qualcomm-Bharti

While Qualcomm owns 51% stake in each of these four companies, the remaining 49% equity is with Bharti Airtel

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Competition Commission today approved the merger of four broadband wireless business entities jointly owned by US-based telecom giant Qualcomm and domestic major Bharti Airtel.

As per the proposed merger, Qualcomm's BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) entities in Delhi, Kerala and Haryana would be merged with Wireless Business Services Pvt Ltd, which was given licenses for BWA (high-speed internet) services in these three states and in Mumbai.

While Qualcomm owns 51% stake in each of these four companies, the remaining 49% equity is with Bharti Airtel.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of three entities -- WBBS Delhi, WBBS Kerala and WBBS Haryana -- with Wireless Business Services Pvt Ltd (WBSPL).

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had awarded Boardband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to WBSPL in four service areas -- Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala and Haryana.

WBBS Delhi, WBBS Kerala and WBBS Haryana were incorporated to provide Internet access services.

In an order, the CCI said the proposed combination is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.

"It is observed that the shareholding pattern of each of WBSPL, WBBS Delhi, WBBS Haryana and WBBS Kerala before the combination and the shareholding pattern of WBSPL, the surviving entity, after the combination would be same.

"Therefore the combination does not give rise to any adverse competition concern," the order said.

Following objection from the DoT, the four entities and Qualcomm had agreed to the merger proposal.

According to the CCI, the order would be revoked, if at any time, the information provided to it is found to be incorrect.

In May, Bharti Airtel had announced a Rs 922 crore ($165 million) deal with Qualcomm Asia Pacific which would help the domestic major to establish a stronghold in fast-growing high speed internet services segment.

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First Published: Fri, August 31 2012. 20:38 IST