New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General is learnt to have blamed cartelization by telecom players behind the failure of recent spectrum auction and pointed finger at the conduct of Airtel, Vodafone, RCom, Idea and Tata Teleservices in this regard.

"...many of the leading operators, who were constantly demanding spectrum for meeting QoS (Quality of Service) parameters of TRAI, appeared to form a cartel and declined to take part in the auction in 2012/3," CAG is learned to have communicated to the Telecom Ministry seeking its comments in a draft report.
CAG had earlier calculated that the spectrum allocation to the companies without auction in 2008 caused government presumptive loss of Rs 1,76,000 crore. In 2012, there was muted response from the industry to bidding for spectrum that was freed from cancellation of 122 licences. The auction fetched the government about Rs 9,407 crore out of Rs 28,000 crore expected, as per the minimum price fixed for the spectrum.
The CAG added that declining to participate in auction negated their telecom operators position of seeking additional spectrum. "If additional spectrum was vital for maintaining TRAI prescribed QoS, then reluctance of the operators to take spectrum at price in the last two auction appeared to be a significant departure from their earlier stand," CAG said.
The auditor's communication raised finger at leading operators who had been requesting for additional spectrum. No comments were received from the companies named in the report.


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