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Trai said Jio tariffs not violationt: Devusinh Chauhan on predatory pricing

Regulator TRAI has taken a view that tariffs offered by Reliance Jio are not in violation of the tariff orders after it received a complaint

Photo: Bloomberg

Under the provisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, 1997, TRAI regulates tariffs for the telecommunications sector in the country. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Regulator TRAI has taken a view that tariffs offered by Reliance Jio are not in violation of the tariff orders after it received a complaint that live TV channels on the telco's broadband offering amounted to predatory pricing, Parliament was informed on Friday.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) received a complaint from a telecom service provider, where it was alleged that Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) is offering services in contravention of the Tariff orders issued by the regulator.
"On receipt of the complaint, TRAI sought response from RJIL. On examination of the complaint and the response received from RJIL, TRAI is of the opinion that the tariffs offered by RJIL are not in violation of the Tariff orders," Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
Under the provisions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, 1997, TRAI regulates tariffs for the telecommunications sector in the country.
The complaint received by TRAI levelled allegations around predatory pricing in Reliance Jio broadband plans offering TV channels through their apps or data connectivity plans.
While offering broadband (Unlimited data and Voice) at Rs 198 is low but still something that may be overlooked, offering 400 channels at Rs 100 (Rs 298 plan) or 550 channels at Rs 200 (398 plan) is clearly not possible/cannot be matched by any DTH operator given the TRAI NTO Regulation," according to the complaint.
In fact, there cannot be any permutation or combination wherein 400/550 channels can be provided at such price as is being offered in the above-mentioned plans, the complainant argued.
"Not only such offerings are in contravention of TRAI's Tariff Order, but providing broadcast channels without a valid DPO authorisation/license is also in violation of the extant licensing regime," it said.
According to the complaint, such tariffs are detrimental to the business of DTH and are seriously predatory in nature based on regulatory arbitrage.
"Also, offering 400/550 channels as part of the broadband offering well below the market cost with a view to reducing the competition is a clear case of predatory pricing, and is in contravention to the Telecom Tariff Order 1999 and requires the immediate attention of the Authority," it had contended.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 21 2023 | 7:44 PM IST

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