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Airtel’s Complaint on Riliance Jio is Rejected

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Competition Commission of India (CCI) rejected Airtel’s complaint against Reliance Jio stating that no case could be made out against the new operator.

Airtel in its complaint had alleged anti-competitive practices and predatory pricing by Reliance Jio to gain advantage in the market.

In its 17 page order, CCI said, “In view of the foregoing discussion, the Commission is of the view that the relevant product market in the facts and circumstances of the present case is the market for ‘provision of wireless telecommunication services to end users’.”

On the question of relevant market, the Commission noted that wireless telecommunication services is the focal service in the instant case.

CCI said that the market is characterised by the presence of several players resulting in sufficient choice to consumers who can shift from one service provider to another and that too with ease. It would be incorrect to construe dominant position of Jio with 6.4 per cent market share.

CCI in its order appreciated that Jio is a new entrant, who was likely to offer promotional tariffs to attract customers. The offers of Jio do not appear to raise any competition concern at this stage.

It further said that there was no case that could be made against RIL, whom Airtel had made a party. RIL itself is not in the business of telecom services. If one were to construe RIL investment in RJIL as anti-competitive, the same would deter entry and/or expansion and limit the growth of markets.
CCI noted that the relevant market in this case is the market for ‘provision of wireless telecommunication services to end users in each of the 22 circles in India’. Airtel had, in its complaint said 4G LTE telecommunication services as the relevant product market, which has been rejected by the CCI.

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