Airtel drags Jio to CCI over predatory pricing
The free offer�s objective is the injuring rival telecom operators and creating a monopoly, adds the complaint.
In another trouble for Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel has 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.
Earlier Airtel and Idea Cellular had gone to 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
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.”
Airtel also alleged that Jio is abusing its dominant position and argued that there is “probability of further extension,” of the company’s free offer for services. The free offer’s objective is the injuring rival telecom operators and creating a monopoly, adds the complaint.
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.”