SC allowed Britain’s Vodafone to begin second arbitration process in $2 bln tax dispute

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Branding hangs outside a Vodafone shop in Oxford, Britain, May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Vastavam web: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Britain’s Vodafone to initiate a second arbitration process under an India-UK investment pact over a long-running $2 billion-plus tax dispute with New Delhi.Vodafone has already initiated an arbitration process over the matter under India’s investment pact with the Netherlands.

Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile operator, entered India in 2007 by acquiring Hutchison Whampoa’s wireless assets. It is contesting a tax bill of more than $2 billion relating to that acquisition.Vodafone, whose local unit is India’s second-largest mobile carrier, has repeatedly said it was not liable to pay any tax over the Hutchison acquisition.Vodafone India is in the process of merging its operations with smaller rival Idea Cellular to potentially create the biggest Indian telecom carrier.