Displaying items by tag: Case
Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson has called for the detainment of Anil Ambani, the chairman of Indian operator Reliance Communications (RCom) for its failure to pay the vendor a settlement fee of INR5.5bn ($78.5m) of unpaid service charges.
Ericsson was forced to file a second contempt of court proceeding against Reliance Communications when they failed to process the outstanding settlement charge. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that the vendor requested in the petition to the Supreme Court that the chairman of Reliance Communications should be barred from leaving the country and be detained in civil prison. It has also been reported that Ambani provided the Supreme Court with a personal guarantee.
However, RCom has also filed a case against the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) claiming that the delays in approving long-planned spectrum sales and auctions had prevented it from being able to pay Ericsson. The court will hear both cases on the 7th of January.
The former mobile operator missed the original payment deadline of 30 September, and then last month the high court rejected its plea to extend a 15 December deadline, which it had also missed. The earlier extension was granted by the court due to a delay in finalising the sale of its assets to Reliance Jio.
Twelve months ago, RCom brokered a deal with Jio to sell off assets including 800MHz spectrum to repay part of its huge debt. DoT later demanded payment of the dues as a condition for approving the agreement, but RCom is disputing the spectrum charge in court.
DoT last month rejected the spectrum deal on the grounds that it goes against trading guidelines after Jio sought assurances it won’t be held responsible for RCom’s past spectrum-related charges, which could total as much as INR29.5 billion.
American Multinational Telecommunications conglomerate AT&T has defended its acquisition of Time Warner in a deal which was worth $84.5 billion. The CEO of AT&T Randall Stephenson was forced to defend the deal and presented his case in a hearing in front of US Senators. Stephenson highlighted the pro-competition benefits of the merger and described the deal as the ‘classic vertical merger’.
When the deal was announced in October it was greeted frostily by lawmakers, but following the presentation of the merger the tone and fears over the partnership seems to have subsided somewhat. During the US presidential election campaign, when news circulated of the deal, Donald Trump said if he were elected he would block the merger. He had singled out CNN, the cable news network owned by Time Warner, with particular rancour for its election coverage at the time.
He has since made no further comment in relation to the hearing which got underway yesterday, and while people seemed to be more receptive to this massive merger, one US Senator expressed his grave concerns over the deal.
US Senator, Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said: “I have serious concerns about this transaction. The deal potentially has serious negative impacts on competition and on consumers.”
During the hearing, AT&T and Time Warner pitched a message that catered to the new administration: a populist promise of lower prices and the potential to build more wireless infrastructure through the merger. While AT&T and Time Warner are powerhouses, they presented themselves as weaker rivals to the cable industry and Silicon Valley tech companies
AT&T, a telecom giant, and Time Warner, which owns CNN and HBO, had said in October that AT&T would buy Time Warner to create a mobile video powerhouse. The hearing may have implications beyond this deal, with the comments potentially encouraging more acquisitions by companies that have been waiting out the Obama administration, which has rejected several mergers.
Consumer groups have rejected the characterization of AT&T and Time Warner as disadvantaged rivals, saying a combined company would create a powerhouse that all cable providers and networks would have to negotiate with.
“If a single company is able to control so many key inputs to online video, this new market could be snuffed out,” said Gene Kimmelman, president and chief executive of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit consumer group, at the hearing.
After today’s session the case will go through several other committees and official departments, including potentially the FCC, before a final ruling will be made.