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TRAI releases paper on curbing monopoly in cable TV services

Monopolies/market dominance may not in the best interest of consumers and has serious implications in terms of competition, pricing, quality of service and growth of cable TV sector

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | June 4, 2013

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on “Monopoly/Market dominance in Cable TV services”. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has sought recommendations of TRAI on restriction to be imposed on Multi System Operators (MSOs)/Local Cable Operators (LCOs) to prevent monopolies/accumulation of interest in order to ensure fair competition, improved quality of service, and equity.

There are currently no restrictions on the area of operation and accumulation of interest in terms of market share in a city, district, state or country by individual MSOs and LCOs. It has been observed in some states that the majority of the cable TV network is controlled by a single entity virtually monopolising the distribution of cable TV services in these states. Such monopolies/market dominance may not in the best interest of consumers and may have serious implications in terms of competition, pricing, quality of service and healthy growth of cable TV sector.

Accordingly, this consultation has been prepared for seeking comments from the stakeholders on issues related monopoly/market dominance in the cable TV services. The paper discusses issues related to market power, relevant market and possible approaches to deal with the issue of monopoly/ market dominance in the context of distribution of cable TV services in the country. The approaches include, the restrictions based on area of operation and those based on the market share.

Written comments on the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by June 24, 2013 and counter comments, if any, by July 1, 2013. The comments   and counter comments may be sent, preferably in electronic form, to Rajkumar Upadhyay, Advisor (B&CS), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, on e-mail (rkupadhyay@trai.gov.in or traicable@yahoo.co.in). For any clarification/information, Rajkumar Upadhyay may be contacted on +91-11-23220020 or on fax:+91-11-23211998.

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