Robi charged Tk 3cr for delayed payment of merger fees

The telecom regulator has slapped Robi with a Tk 3 crore late fee for delayed payment of merger fees and spectrum adjustment charges for its much discussed union with Airtel.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission yesterday issued a letter in this regard and asked the mobile phone operator to submit the fees within 15 days, a senior official of the commission said.

The decision to impose a 15 percent fine for the delay in paying the dues was taken at a regular commission meeting on Wednesday.

Robi has so far paid the merger-related dues to the commission, due to which the commission on July 19 issued the order of merger of licence against the entity, the BTRC official said.

The new entity paid Tk 100 crore as merger fee in addition to several hundred more for merging the spectrum of Airtel with Robi.

Robi also has deposited a bank guarantee for some disputed sums related to unresolved value-added tax issues. The telecom regulator finally handed over the new company licence to Robi on July 29 at a gala event in Dhaka.

Earlier in August 2015, both the parent companies of Robi and Airtel opened talks on the merger and a deal was signed between the two parties in January, 2016.

In November last year, soon after the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms gave them the go-ahead, Robi started taking control of all the business processes of Airtel.

Following the merger, Malaysia-based Axiata, the parent company of Robi, holds 68.7 percent controlling share of the merged Robi Axiata Limited, India's Bharti Airtel 25 percent and Axiata's old partner company NTT DOCOMO of Japan 6.3 percent.


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