India's third-largest telecommunications company Idea Cellular is exploring a strategic deal with rival Vodafone India, CNBC-TV18 reported on Wednesday.
Citing sources, CNBC-TV18 said the two are in "exploratory talks" that may result in a merger that would knock Bharti Airtel off the top spot among telecom companies in India. Vodafone India is the country's second-largest telco by subscriber base.
Vodafone India and Idea did not immediately respond to CNBC requests seeking a comment
Idea Cellular told CNBC-TV18 the news was "baseless and absolutely false" as well as "preposterous". Vodafone India declined to comment.
To read the full CNBC-TV18 report, click here.