Etisalat denies role in India licence process
Abu Dhabi, February 2, 2012
UAE’s leading telecom operator Etisalat, reacting to Indian Supreme Court’s decision to cancel licences issued to one of its subsidiaries, said it did not have any involvement in the licence process.
In a public interest litigation (PIL) case filed before it, the court issued today a judgment cancelling all 122 of the 2008 spectrum licenses granted to eight operators (including Etisalat DB Telecom, formerly Swan) and imposing a fine on all licensees who sold equity to foreign investors after issuance of the licenses.
The Supreme Court decision relates to events that occurred in January 2008, well before December 2008 when Etisalat invested in Swan, said a statement.
Formerly Swan Telecom, the company had been given 13 licences and also later merged with itself another firm that had won two licences. Etisalat in late 2008 bought about 45 percent of the company that was then renamed Etisalat DB Telecom.
The statement said Etisalat had no knowledge of what occurred in the license application process for Swan, far less did it have any involvement. The license applications were entirely conducted by the promoters and their associates who subsequently marketed the Swan investment opportunity to Etisalat through a well known international investment bank, it said.
The statement said details of the judgment have not yet been released. “Once a copy of the decision is received, Etisalat will work closely with EDB’s management and legal counsel to understand the judgment, its ramifications on the operations of EDB, particularly its customers and employees as well as its right to a review of the Supreme Court’s decision,” it said.
“Etisalat has an excellent record of abiding by all of the laws and regulations in the 17 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa where it operates and continues to move forward with its growth strategy. We remain committed to becoming one of the world’s top 10 telecommunications companies,” it said. – TradeArabia News Service