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Indian telecoms firms face $13bn bill

Vodafone Idea logos
Reuters
Vodafone Idea is one of India's leading telecoms companies

India's Supreme Court has ordered three telecoms companies to pay $13bn in unpaid spectrum and licencing fees by 17 March.

Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio had argued that the fees should be based only on income from their telecoms business. But the court ruled they should be based on all business dealings, including handset sales.

India's Department of Telecommunications was also admonished by the Court for not enforcing an earlier ruling. It has ordered Vodaphone Idea and Bharti Airtel to clear their dues before midnight tonight.

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