DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s two leading cellphone companies are negotiating with a regulator over claims of about $1.5 billion in unpaid taxes as they face a possible loss of their licenses amid a legal battle that could hurt investor confidence.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has asked Grameenphone, a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom giant Telenor, and Robi, an entity majority-owned by Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad, to pay $1.52 billion for evading spectrum fees, value-added taxes and revenue since December 2014.
The two companies say the audits by the commission are flawed.
On Wednesday, Grameenphone officials met with Finance Minister A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal, Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar and other government officials to try to resolve the dispute.