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Congo rejects Zain-Bharti deal

April 15, 2010 • Mobile and Telecoms

Sunil Mittal, Chairman Bharti

The Congo Republic has criticized Bharti-Airtel’s takeover of Zain’s African assets, stating that government approval should have been sought beforehand

According to Nigerian publication Daily Independent, Congo’s telecoms minister, Thierry Moungalla, urged both parties to remedy the situation within 30 days, otherwise sanctions such as percentage points from local turnover would be taken. In the worst-case scenario, Zain’s local license could be suspended or withdrawn, he said.

“This is a clear violation of the law of our country. The government has within its legal arsenal the right to be informed and to give its agreement in principle to such deals”, argued Moungalla.

Zain is the top mobile operator in Congo, with an estimated subscrier base of 1.5 million.
Besides Congo, Gabon had voiced similar concerns before the signing of the Bharti-Zain’s deal.

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