Vodafone has recently confirmed their branch in India is going through negotiations to merge with Indian mobile operator Idea Cellular, their rival in the telecom industry.
If successful, the merged company will take the market’s lead, summing up Idea’s 177 million customers to Vodafone’s 200 million, doubling the 258 million that the current leading company Airtel has.
The London-based mobile operator had started negotiations for a full-share merger between Vodafone India and Idea cellular - owned by Auditya Birla - except for a 42 per cent stake that Vodafone holds for Indus Towers. The stock market is already reacting to the news: Idea Cellular’s shares have increased by 29 per cent on the last Friday of January 2017.
Vodafone’s bet comes as a reaction to a smaller local competitor, Reliance Jio, whose aggressive expanding strategy has led them count 72 million new subscribers in less than four months in 2016. The successful new competitor is owned by Mukesh Ambani – one of India’s richest men – and is expected to continue expanding their market presence.