2G verdict effect: Telenor likely to quit Indian market

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A Raja
New Delhi, Feb 3: Telenor, Norwegian cell phone company following the Supreme Court verdict that ordered to quash 122 2G licences that were granted during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A Raja, may close down its shops in India.

"The ruling is a very serious attack on our investments, (which are) based on the licence framework that was spelt out in 2008," said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Chief Executive, Telenor. [UPDATE: Telecom Companies owe Rs10,000cr to PSU banks]

"We met every inch of that regulation of that licence. We have brought competition to the Indian market ... just to see a ruling that has significant retroactive consequences. It is an action that we have never seen in any country before," he said.

"We look to the government to arrive at a fair outcome that doesn't jeopardize our lawful investment. We are reviewing the order and will consider necessary actions to safeguard our investment," said Glenn Mandelid, Director of Communications, Telenor Group.

Telenor has till now invested over Rs 8,000 in corporate guarantees and Rs 61,000 crore in equity as a foreign investor in Uninor.

Uninor's 22 licences were among those that were cancelled after the Supreme Court verdict on Thursday, Feb 2.

The SC judgement has affected more than 36 million subscribers, while the future of its 17,500 employees look bleak.

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