Tata to sell con­sumer mo­bile biz to Air­tel

Mint ST - - THE BRIEFING -

New Delhi: Tata Sons Ltd will sell its con­sumer mo­bile busi­ness to In­dia’s largest tele­com op­er­a­tor Bharti Air­tel Ltd vir­tu­ally for free, as part of the group chair­man’s strat­egy to exit busi­nesses which have been a pro­longed drag and have lit­tle vis­i­bil­ity of fu­ture prof­its. Air­tel is ac­quir­ing the as­sets on a debt-free, cash-free ba­sis, ex­cept for it as­sum­ing a frac­tion of the un­paid spec­trum fees that the Tata group owes to the depart­ment of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions (DOT), the com­pa­nies said in a joint state­ment on Thurs­day.

The tele­com in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly smaller op­er­a­tors such as Tata Te­le­ser­vices Ltd, has been hob­bled by a crip­pling price war af­ter the en­try of Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm Ltd, backed by In­dia’s rich­est man Mukesh Am­bani. PAGE 1

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