Bharti Airtel Ltd. is in exploratory talks to combine its direct-to-home business Airtel Digital TV with Dish TV India Ltd., India's The Economic Times reported, citing two sources.
A merger would result in a combined entity with more than 38 million subscribers and a 61% share of India's DTH market.
The potential deal is reportedly aimed at stepping up competition with Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., whose parent entity Reliance Industries Ltd. will acquire a majority stake in cable operators Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd. and DEN Networks Ltd.
Bharti Enterprises Ltd. has reportedly considered combining Bharti Airtel and its Airtel Digital TV unit with Tata Sons Ltd. subsidiaries Tata Teleservices Ltd., Tata Sky Ltd. and Tata Communications Ltd.
Dish TV, for its part, completed a merger with Videocon d2h Ltd.