Telenor seeks $14 billion in damages from India: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 26, 2012 11:53 PM
Telenor seeks $14 billion in damages from India: report

(Reuters) - Norway's Telenor ASA, whose India joint venture is among companies that are set to lose their telecoms licenses, has served a notice to the Indian government, claiming damages of nearly $14 billion, the Times of India reported on Tuesday.

Telenor is seeking a solution from the government within six months or go for international arbitration for failure to protect its investment in the country, the newspaper said, citing the notice sent to the prime minister's office.

In early February, India's Supreme Court ordered all 122 mobile licenses awarded in a scandal-tainted 2008 sale, including 22 held by Uninor, Telenor's local joint venture, to be revoked in four months.

A Telenor spokesman confirmed to Reuters it had informed the Indian government of its "intent to invoke" the provisions of the so-called comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA).

"We are hopeful that it remains the government's intent to protect and encourage bonafide foreign investment in the country," the spokesman said in an emailed statement, without mentioning the damages it was seeking.

The Times of India cited Telenor as saying in the notice, which was also sent to the telecoms department and the corporate affairs ministry, it invested in India based on licenses issued by the government and it had complied with the procedures.

"Despite having no role to play either in the policy or in the process through which these licenses were awarded, Telenor stands to lose its entire investment made in India," the newspaper quoted the notice as saying.

(Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee in MUMBAI; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)