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FM radio partial auctions pushed to May

MUMBAI: The FM radio Phase III partial auctions are set for another round of delay. As per a notice issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the auctions will now be held in May.

Thus, the new last date for submission of applications has been pushed to 27 March from 23 March. The publication of ownership details of applicants has been pushed to 13 April from 7 April.

In turn, the bidder-ownership compliance certificate has been pushed to 16 April from 10 April and the pre-qualification of bidders will happen on 23 April. The auctions thus may be held in the first week of May, because the mock auctions will need to be held for a day or two prior to the auctions.

According to the notice inviting application (NIA) clarifications published by the MIB, the frequencies in Cochin have been changed with the removal of 104.8 FM as an available frequency.

Moreover, the cap on a radio company’s shareholding in another radio company has been increased from 10 to 25 per cent. This means that a single entity which has a majority stake in one FM company may have up to 25 per cent stake in another FM company.

Meanwhile, the MIB once again rejected broadcasters’ request to reconsider the 15 per cent overall cap on stations that an FM operator can hold in the country.