BTRC threatens to cancel Robi/Airtel merger over unpaid fees

James Pearce
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The Bangladeshi regulator has accused mobile operator Robi of failing to pay $13.5 million in merger fees for the deal

Bangladeshi regulator has given notice to Robi to pay the remainder of fees owed for its merger with Airtel, or risk seeing the deal terminated.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission sent a letter to the mobile operator ordering it to pay the remaining $13.5 million owed for the deal, which was completed in November.

Originally, Robi was due to pay the fee TK 100 crore ($12.4 million) merger fee, along with 348 crore ($43.3 million), by 28 November 2016. However, Robi has paid just TK318 crore of the overall fee so far, according to the Daily Star.

This resulted in BTRC sending a letter to the mobile operator, asking it to explain within the next 30 days why it has not paid. The regulator has threatened to void the merger over the non-compliance, with Robi preparing to take over the business processes of Airtel.

BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said: “The merged entity has huge dues and the commission sent the notice to realise the money.”

The reports claim Robi has offered BTRC a bank guarantee for the sum, although this was rejected due to rules within the telecom act.