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CCI was split on Jio interim order

The interim order may be contested by the incumbents in a higher court

Kiran Rathee & Veena Mani  |  New Delhi 

CCI was split on Jio interim order

In the decision reported last week of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) taking a majority view that there is cartelisation by incumbents Vodafone, Airtel and Idea in the telecom sector, two of its members believe there is no such case.

The interim order had directed a detailed probe in this regard by its director-general against the major incumbents for allegedly trying to block the entry of Reliance into the segment.

However, the two members have said Reliance is to blame, not the others. Business Standard has reviewed the order, and the two members have said Jio’s complaint is not justified. The reasoning is that is still in its trial phase, not marketing the product commercially. and, as Jio’s users aren’t being charged for the period under review, they are not subscribers.

They have noted test cards “are to be issued to business associates, employees, relations, etc, only for the purpose of checking the quality of service. This does not seem to be the case with R- Thus, the alleged non-provisioning of demand of POIs (points of interconnections) by the telecom operators or reasonability of demand needs to be seen in this light”.

Also, that the demand of POIs by Reliance is not reasonable, as only a certain number of free cards could be distributed during the test phase. And, so, that Reliance is responsible for congestion in its network, more so than any other player.

had also contented that the incumbents were not allowing Mobile Number Portability to those who wished to come over to its system. The dissenting members say there is no evidence to prove concerted efforts in this regard by the incumbents.

The interim order might be contested by the incumbents in a higher court. Four of the six members decided that, on the face of it, the incumbents had formed a cartel to block Jio’s entry. The Cellular Operators Association of India’s role is to be also looked into.