In a setback to the Trai, the Delhi High Court on Friday declined to stay the interim relief provided by the TDSAT to incumbent operators from reporting segmented offers to the regulator.
In a setback to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the Delhi High Court on Friday declined to stay the interim relief provided by the TDSAT to incumbent operators from reporting segmented offers to the regulator.
Trai had challenged the interim order of the TDSAT in the Delhi High Court, seeking its quashing or a stay. On April 24, the tribunal put an interim stay on Trai’s new regulation which defined predatory pricing by giving a new definition of significant market power (SMP) and sought to end segmented offers to consumers.
The Delhi High Court refused to interfere with the order and sent the matter back to the TDSAT for final disposal. The arguments made by Trai and Reliance Jio on granting a stay on the interim order for immediate relief were refused on the grounds that this is a writ against the interim arrangement. The court asked the TDSAT to fix a schedule for hearing the matter.
This means that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular can continue to offer any tariff plans irrespective of their revenue and subscriber market share without being penalised as predatory by Trai.
The TDSAT in its April 24 interim order said both these aspects of the new regulation (definition of SMP and bar on segmented offers) will be kept in abeyance and operators will not be penalised for not following them till a detailed hearing on the matter is completed.
Providing relief to incumbents, the tribunal noted that the regulation with regard to the SMP has undergone major changes compared to what was in place since 2003.
In February, Bharti and Idea moved the TDSAT against Trai’s 63rd amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO), where the regulator defined predatory pricing for the first time and amended the definition of ascertaining an SMP. Both the telecom operators claimed that the regulator’s latest regulation would have “significant implications” for the sector and will adversely impact customer interest.