Vodafone cuts down value of Indian venture by a third

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London, May 19 (ANI): A price war triggered by stiff competition and future payments for spectrum has forced telecom giant Vodafone Group to cut down the value of its Indian venture, Vodafone Essar, by 3.2 billion dollars.

Prices in India, where Vodafone has added nine million customers in three months, have come down by a third.

Vodafone is also unhappy the Indian authorities' plans to charge firms more for 2G licenses they already hold and make takeovers harder, The Sun reports

Vodafone's Chief executive officer Vittorio Colao said: "I don't think these rules (on consolidation and spectrum) make sense. India needs investment. India is a vast country with a vast population still not fully able to communicate. What India needs is investment and good technology and this will not come in an environment with too many operators and fragmentation of investment."

The company had acquired an economic interest of 67 percent in the asset from Hutchison for 11.1 billion dollars in 2007, but its current value is merely 8.2 billion dollars, Vodafone said on Tuesday.

The world's largest private mobile phone firm may find that its difficulties in India are far from over, the paper said.

Finance chief Andy Halford insisted though that India was still a huge asset. The company has 100 million customers there, more than in Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK combined. (ANI)

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