The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today approved the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, thereby paving the way for the creation of the largest telecom service provider in the country. The CCI has provided an unconditional approval, which means that no further scrutiny will be done in the merger deal. Apart from creating the largest telecom operator in the country, the deal is also significant since it is the largest merger transaction ever to have taken place in India. The Vodafone-Idea merger deal is valued at USD 23 billion. Taken together, the joint entity will command a 35 percent market share in the telecom sector in India. The CCI gave its unconditional approval today after verifying the transactions of both the companies. The CCI has ensured that the deal will not adversely affect the competitive factor in the telecom sector in the country.
Telecom experts said that the approval will prompt other smaller telecom operators to take the merger route, as each one of them was facing tough competition from Reliance Jio, which has disrupted the market with its free voice and unlimited data plans. The telecom sector is currently Jio vs. the rest, which is why other telecom operators may be forced to merge and create larger entities to be able to compete with Jio.