Idea to move HC over DoT order blocking Spice buy

Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla group company, on Monday said it is in the process of filing an application in the Delhi high court against the ex-parte stay on its proposed acquisition of Spice Communications.

The stay was obtained by the department of telecommunications (DoT) from the high court last week, Idea Cellular said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. 

The Delhi high court had stayed the merger of Idea and Spice on a complaint filed by DoT that the deal was in violation of licensing rules. The DoT says that the merged entity would effectively end up having double licences in six circles, which is against the merger and acquisition rules.

The merger with Spice in six circles was announced in June 2008 and the copy of the same was provided to the DoT, Idea said in its filing. The DoT had issued a cancellation order to Idea for the overlapping of licences in the same circles after the merger. 

Idea has maintained that it has not breached any condition of the licence agreement. It said it had written 20 letters to the DoT over the past 30 months but had failed to get any response from the government. 

Idea has also said earlier that it does not want to hang on to extra spectrum, and had offered to surrender the overlapping licences.