Now Bharti Airtel takes Reliance Jio to CCI over ‘predatory pricing’ -
Now Bharti Airtel takes Reliance Jio to CCI over ‘predatory pricing’
Posted 06 Feb 2017 04:45 PM

Bharti Airtel has taken its war against Reliance Jio to the next step and filed a complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) accusing the Mukesh Ambani-led firm of predatory pricing, and anti-competitive behaviour.
According to a report in the Financial Express, the complaint was filed on February 2. It should be noted that Airtel, Idea Cellular have already gone to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) alleging that TRAI is favouring newcomer Jio by allowing it to continue with its free data offer. Reliance Jio has extended the free data, voice calls, SMS offer till March 31 2017, from the earlier limit of December 31. Jio had also filed a complaint with CCI in November 2016, and the body has asked its director-general (investigation) to look into the matter, adds the report.
The latest complaint by Airtel alleges, “No other telecommunication operator in the Indian market (or even across the world) is offering services free of cost or any free unlimited voice calling on the network of other operators, offering free voice calls cannot be said to meet the competition and fall under the exception. The same is predatory.”
Bharti Airtel has accused Jio of abusing its dominant position and argued there is “probability of further extension,” of the company’s free offer for services. Jio is operating independent of market forces and is abusing its dominance as an enterprise, Bharti has claimed. The free offer’s objective is the injuring rival telecom operators and creating a monopoly, adds the complaint.
In December 2016, Airtel moved the telecom dispute tribunal TDSAT against TRAI allowing for Reliance Jio to continue free promotional offer beyond stipulated 90 days. In its 25-page petition, Airtel had asked the quasi-judicial body to direct TRAI to ensure that Jio does not provide its free voice and data plan beyond December 3.
It alleged violation of TRAI’s tariff orders has been continuing, causing “significant prejudice and day-to-day loss” to it and “affecting its network” as it has to bear asymmetric traffic due to the free call offer by Jio.
In January 2017, it was reported that Reliance Jio has asked telecom regulator TRAI to “impose highest penalty” on Airtel, accusing the latter of grossly exaggerating the value of data in a promotional offer, and giving misleading tariff ads.
Jio alleged the advertisements issued by Airtel over the pre-paid and post-paid tariff packs of unlimited calls and free data are in “gross violation of extant telecommunication laws”. However in a statement, Airtel said, “We are not aware of any such complaint. All our tariff plans are fully compliant with the prevailing regulations.”

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