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Business News/ Companies / News/  TRAI clears Reliance Jio not violating any rules in predatory price complaint
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TRAI clears Reliance Jio not violating any rules in predatory price complaint

TRAI received a complaint that accused Reliance Jio of engaging in predatory pricing practices with their broadband plans, particularly about the provision of TV channels

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Premium
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has cleared that Reliance Jio has not violated any tariff rules. The telecom regulator has received multiple complaints about Reliance Jio that it offers live TV channels which amounts to predatory pricing. The information was provided by Union Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

"On receipt of the complaint, TRAI sought a response from RJIL. On examination of the complaint and the response received from RJIL, TRAI thinks that the tariffs offered by RJIL are not in violation of the Tariff orders," the minister's reply said.

According to the regulations established in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act of 1997, TRAI is responsible for overseeing and controlling the pricing of telecommunications services in India.

In a recent incident, TRAI received a complaint that accused Reliance Jio of engaging in predatory pricing practices with their broadband plans, particularly about the provision of TV channels through their apps or data connectivity plans.

“While offering broadband (Unlimited data and Voice) at 198 is low but still something that may be overlooked, offering 400 channels at 100 ( 298 plan) or 550 channels at 200 (398 plan) is not possible/cannot be matched by any DTH operator given the TRAI NTO Regulation," according to the complaint.

Reliance Jio offering remarkably low price 

The complainant contended that it is practically impossible to find any arrangement or combination of services that would allow for the provision of 400 out of 550 channels at the remarkably low price offered in the aforementioned plans.

"Not only such offerings are in contravention of TRAI's Tariff Order, but providing broadcast channels without a valid DPO authorization/license is also in violation of the extant licensing regime," it said.

The complainant said that such tariffs are detrimental to the business of DTH and are predatory based on regulatory arbitrage.

"Also, offering 400/550 channels as part of the broadband offering well below the market cost to reduce 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.

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Published: 21 Jul 2023, 08:14 PM IST
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