July 24, 2017 / 1:38 PM / 2 years ago

India's antitrust regulator approves $23 bln Vodafone India-Idea deal

MUMBAI, July 24 (Reuters) - India’s antitrust regulator has approved the merger of Vodafone Group Plc’s Indian unit with Idea Cellular, a lawyer representing Vodafone in the matter said on Monday.

In March, Vodafone India and Idea agreed to merge operations in a $23 billion deal, creating the country’s biggest telecom player after the entry of new entrant Reliance Jio sparked a price war.

The deal has been pending Competition Commission of India (CCI) approval, along with other regulatory clearances.

Shweta Shroff Chopra, a partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, which is representing Vodafone, said the CCI approval is a very welcome development for both the Indian M&A landscape and the telecom sector, and will serve to fuel more investment into the telecom sector in India.

A separate source told Reuters earlier on Monday that the deal had been approved by CCI.

The two companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Aditi Shah; Writing by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Euan Rocha)

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