Telenor says it has yet to review the ruling and will be able to comment further once they have had a chance to review it.
The Indian Supreme Court has cancelled 122 cellular phone licences granted by the Government of India in 2008, including 22 licences to Uninor, a daughter of Norway's Telenor. The revoking is effective 4 months from yesterday, Thursday. The Supreme Court delivered its judgment on a public interest petition. It was alleged that the grant of licences in 2008 had been made at too low a price.
Several Norwegian investors and analysts said on Thursday the Norwegian firm should exit India altogether and cut its losses. Telenor CEO John Fredrik Baksaas said in an interview that the ruling was a very serious attack on Telenor's investments, (which are) based on the licence framework that was spelt out in 2008.
"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," Baksaas said, according to
The Economic Times.
Norwegian trade and industry minister Trond Giske said said according to the newspaper that Norway would follow the situation and are keeping close contacts with Telenor about this case, adding that the government was examining what course of action it could take with Indian authorities.
"Norwegian authorities will contribute actively to find a good solution and secure Telenor's large investments ... in India," he said.