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Bharti and Tata abandon ‘mega merger’ discussions

Bharti and Tata abandon ‘mega merger’ discussions

Bharti Enterprises has scrapped a proposal to merge its communications business with Tata Group’s corresponding operations.

The proposed ‘mega-merger’ would have seen Bharti Enterprises and Tata Group combining their telecom, overseas cable, enterprise services and TV businesses.

However, objections to the proposal were raised by Bharti Airtel shareholder Singtel, which was concerned that the deal with Tata would draw Airtel’s focus from competing with rival Reliance Jio, which has caused a major upset in the Indian mobile space since its launch in September 2016.

The Indian telecoms giant will instead turn its attention to its acquisition of Telenor India, as well as selling off a stake of up to 22% in its tower unit, Bharti Infratel.

Bharti’s acquisition of Telenor recently received approval from India’s National Company Law Tribunal, edging the deal closer to completion. In June, the merger also received clearance from the Competition Commission of India, the country’s Securities and Exchange Board, and the National Stock Exchange of India.