Now, Air­tel Moves CCI Against Jio Over ‘Preda­tory Pric­ing’

Ac­cuses Rel Jio of abus­ing dom­i­nant po­si­tion in its counter com­plaint

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Anan­dita.Manko­tia @times­group.com

New Delhi: Bharti Air­tel has filed a counter com­plaint with the an­titrust reg­u­la­tor against bit­ter ri­val Reliance Jio In­fo­comm, ac­cus­ing the lat­ter of "abus­ing dom­i­nant po­si­tion" and of "preda­tory pric­ing" with the in­ten­tion to kill com­pe­ti­tion.

In a com­plaint to the Compe-

tition Com­mis­sion of In­dia (CCI), re­viewed by ET, Air­tel said Jio is a dom­i­nant player in the tele­com space as “it is a sub­sidiary of Reliance In­dus­tries Ltd, which is the largest en­ter­prise in In­dia in terms of size, rev­enues, as­sets and value”.

It noted that Jio has made in­vest­ments of over .₹ 1.60 lakh

crore in the tele­com space and had spent a stag­ger­ing .₹ 47,000 crore to­wards spec­trum alone, and that Jio has abused its dom­i­nant po­si­tion by in­dulging in preda­tory pric­ing by pro­vid­ing free ser­vice since the launch of its beta test­ing in De­cem­ber 2015.

“Dur­ing the test phase it­self it added ap­prox­i­mately five mil­lion users and pur­suant to its launch date on 5th Septem­ber 2016 till 31st De­cem­ber 2016 and it has grossed 72.5 mil­lion cus­tomers,” Air­tel said.

“The free ser­vice pro­vided by RJIL is preda­tory in na­ture, which, in ac­cor­dance with Sec­tion 4 of the Com­pe­ti­tion Act, ex-fa­cie con­sti­tutes abuse of dom­i­nant po­si­tion,” it added.

Air­tel has ar­gued that no other telco in In­dia or over­seas is of­fer­ing ser­vices free of cost or any free un­lim­ited voice call­ing. “The same is preda­tory” and the ob­jec­tive of preda­tory pric­ing by Jio “is to elim­i­nate com­pe­ti­tion”.

It added that Jio plans to cre­ate a mo­nop­oly for it­self.

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