US court asks Antrix to pay $1.2 billion compensation to Bengaluru start-up for cancelling satellite deal

A US court has asked Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of ISRO, to pay compensation of USD 1.2 billion to a Bengaluru-based startup, Devas Multimedia, for cancelling a satellite deal in 2005. As per the agreement in January 2005, Antrix agreed to build, launch and operate two satellites and to make available 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas, which the latter planned to use to offer hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication services throughout India. The agreement was terminated by Antrix in February 2011. Over the next several years, Devas approached various legal avenues in India. This included the Supreme Court, which directed for a tribunal. US District Judge ruled that Antrix Corporation pay a compensation of USD 562.5 million to Devas Multimedia Corporation.
Devas said that after the initial signing of the agreement, the two companies performed in good faith for five years. Among other things, in May 2009, Dr. Appanna Bhaskarnaryana, the Director of the Satellite Communications Program Office of ISRO, spent four to five weeks in the US with Devas personnel meeting with Hughes Networks, Sirius XM SkyTerra, Qualcomm and ICO North America to understand the technologies used by, and operation of, hybrid satellite-terrestrial operators providing telecommunications services.
On February 25, 2011, Antrix issued a termination notice to Devas, which among other things stated that the policy decision was of the central government, acting in its sovereign capacity is the event of force majeure, which was an occurrence on February 23, 2011.Devas disputed Antrix’s repudiation of the agreement and sought to conduct discussions among senior management as contemplated by that agreement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s