Another trouble for incumbents telcos as the fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) has decided to probe against Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea for allegedly trying to block the entry of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio.
"The regulator has decided to investigate allegations of unfair business practices made against the incumbent telecom player, and said it will also examine the overall conduct of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), especially since the allegations of anti-competitive practices have been made against three of its key members," HBL quoted sources here.
To recall, last year in November, Reliance Jio filed a complaint against telcos of acting as a cartel in the industry on the basis of a letter that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
TRAI had also suggested the ministry impose a penalty of over Rs. 3,000 on the three companies, however, the matter is with telecom tribunal TDSAT.
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Meanwhile, Rajan S. Mathews, DG, COAI said that "though we have not seen the order as it has not been published yet, we are disappointed at the apparent news (if true), that the CCI has decided to go forward with an investigation into the complaint filed by Reliance Jio. In the interim, the matter is also before the High Court and TDSAT and we also await the conclusions from these judicial bodies."
He said, "we believe COAI and its members will be fully vindicated in the matter and the truth will prevail. COAI always has and will continue to work with all its members and the government towards a facilitative policy and regulatory ecosystem for a stable long - term predictable policy environment which facilitates affordability, growth, innovation and investments."
He added "consumers remain at the heart of everything we do and our work is at the core of implementing the Hon. Prime Minister's vision of a fully connected and empowered Digital India. The sector is already bleeding and an unambiguous clear regulatory and policy environment is the need of the hour to improve the financial health of the sector."