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TDSAT challenges TRAI ruling on SMP and predatory pricing

14 Dec 2018

India’s Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has rejected an order from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that set new definitions and guidelines on significant market power (SMP) and predatory pricing, the Economic Times reports. The TRAI’s decision altered the SMP definition to apply only to providers with a 30% market share of revenue or subscribers – excluding previous parameters such as call volume and capacity – and prevented operators from being subject to predatory pricing regulations unless they reach that level. The TRAI said it intended to give newcomers pricing flexibility to allow them to compete with more entrenched operators. In its ruling, however, the TDSAT said that the updated definition provided ‘artificial protection to a telco, who may have the capacity and intent to destabilise the sector through predatory pricing before it attains the defined status of SMP.’ The tribunal described the TRAI’s measures as ‘extreme’ and an ‘unnecessary abdication of its regulatory powers,’ instructing the watchdog to reconsider the provisions within the next six months.

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