India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is to issue show cause notices to mobile network operator Idea Cellular requesting that it surrender six licences that overlap with those the company acquired following its purchase of Spice Communications. According to the Economic Times, citing an internal note from the regulator, the move comes following the start of a probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into the failure to take back the concessions from Idea. It is understood that the CVC has called on the DoT to detail those steps taken to revoke the licences, with existing regulation stipulating that no company may own more than a 10% stake in another operator that holds licences for a region it already holds a concession for. Idea meanwhile has continued to argue that the six licences in question do not violate existing norms, with the cellco contending that all are non-operational. Previously Idea chose not to surrender the disputed licences after it was informed by the DoT that it would not be refunded the entry fee paid for them.
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