Jio’s Free Services in Question: Bharti Airtel Files a Counter Complaint with the CCI

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Reliance has always come up with exciting offers for its users, and this time it was ‘Jio’. They instantly got millions of users when they announced free data, calls and SMS services. According to reports, Airtel has filed a counter case with the Competition Commission of India (CCI). In the complaint, Airtel stated that Jio was a dominant player in the industry of telecommunication because it is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, which also happens to be one of the largest enterprises in India in terms of assets, value, size and revenue.

The complaint was in response to the complaint that had been filed by Jio last year in the month of November with CCI. Mukesh Ambani had said that Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone had formed an alliance to confine Jio’s operations by repudiating interconnection points. Both Vodafone and Bharti Airtel had then rejected allegations put up by Jio by saying that they had not received any official communication with reference to the complaint.

As per the report, Airtel has used the term “predatory” for Reliance Jio’s free services that have been designed in a strategic manner to eradicate competition and ultimately create a monopolistic situation in the market. Airtel added that once Jio would secure its place and have a higher market share; it would eventually raise its charges and charge for voice calls. With limited competition, the customers would be stranded as there would hardly be any service providers to switch to.

Jio’s responded was saying that the tariff plans they offered to its users were all in line with the current rules while the tariff packs have been approved by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI). It further added that the telecom sector of India has tried to develop with new advances bought in by a newcomer. However, the occupants led by Airtel have always tried to block these initiatives.

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The Legal Scrimmage

In the legal battle of Airtel and Jio where Airtel alleged Jio of its services to be “predatory”, TRAI said that the free voice and data plans of Jio were not discriminatory or predatory nor were they violating any regulations. TRAI also had to answer to Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) when Airtel and Idea claimed that the telecom regulator was propagating illegality by permitting Jio to “game” the interconnection regulation with their free offers.

Besides this, there are two more cases with the Delhi High Court that Vodafone where it has involved TRAI and Jio. Vodafone plead with the Delhi High Court about TRAI’s failure to keep a check on Jio’s free offers. Vodafone said that the company had deliberately violated rules.

In one of its petition’s in December 2016 Vodafone had defied TRAI’s Rs 1050 crore penalty for the violation of license norms purportedly by refusing interconnection points to Jio.

According to a report, Airtel mobile internet users went down from 62.66 million to 54.91 million for the quarter. Jio seems to be taking over the telecom market quickly.

 

Amit Shinde

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Amit Shinde

I am a simple person trying to go beyond my boundaries. Technology is my passion, and I like to play with gadgets to find the new technologies. I need the internet in every step of my life, and without the internet, I feel like it's a waste of my life.

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