Bharti Airtel not looking for new buys, says Sunil Mittal | india | Hindustan Times
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Bharti Airtel not looking for new buys, says Sunil Mittal

india Updated: Nov 08, 2009 21:34 IST

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Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Mittal on Sunday said his company was not actively looking for new acquisitions after its talks for a mega billion-dollar tie-up with South Africa's MTN group collapsed.

"We are taking a break," Mittal told reporters on the sidelines of the India Economic Summit, where he was queried about whether he was looking for new international telecom companies to include in group portfolio.

He also noted that the effect of the recent tariff competition in the domestic market would play out in the next two quarters.

"We responded (to tariff cuts) as we did not have a choice. We have always said we will never lead the price war, but responding to the needs of the market is something that every sector and industry has to do," Mittal said.

All major telecom companies had to respond to the successful introduction of per second billing by Tata group -- as compared to the prevailing practice of charging per minute for call -- which is likely to hit already narrow margins.

"The question is how long this is going to last. At the end of the day, every economic model will require returns and if there are no returns, you will see consolidation," Mittal said.

He felt that consolidation would also be a feature in the future Indian telecom market. "The world over, consolidation has taken place. Wherever there have been more operators, they have been reduced. There is empirical evidence."