Jio has been all over the news, not merely cause of their “free” voice and data services (which is unusual and rare) in the glorying age of capitalism and profit building, but also due to the complaints that have been filed by telecom giant Bharati Airtel, in the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against its fierce competitor Relaince Jio Inforcomm.
The complaint had been filed by the former telecom giant against the latter alleging anti-competitive practices. Section 3 of the Competition Act states – any agreement which causes or is likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect (AAE) on competition in India is deemed to be anti- competitive.
This compliant, however, was dismissed by the CCI through a seventeen page order which primarily stated the following observations to just state a few;
Firstly, it was believed that Jio could not be be considered to be in a dominant position with a mere 6.4% market share; the market here also consisting of other operators and service providers.
Secondly, being a new addition in an extremely competitive market, the CCI took into consideration the fact that Jio would definitely try to bring forth various promotional schemes. These schemes were not regarded as being anti-competitive by the commission.
Thirdly, in the present case, the market is the market for ‘provision of wireless telecommunication services to end users in each of the 22 circles in India’ however Bharati Airtel had provided 4G LTE telecommunication service as the product market.
It was believed that prima-facie there was no infringement of the Competition Act and thus the complaint stood irrelevant and unproved on various grounds.
From a common mans perspective, it is justified to believe that all that Jio provides is slightly uncanny, however the grounds on which the CCI has declined the complaint seem extremely relevant.
In a series of other instances, it was seen earlier that Jio had filed a complaint against Airtel for the advertisments about internet speed. The same was filed in the Advertising Standards Council of India. The claim made by Jio was that the advertisements were “false, misleading and incorrect”.
Airtel, had called itself the fastest smartphone network based on the Ookla Speed Test and thus, a legal notice was sent by Jio to Ookla as well for their report being flawed.
It was put forth in their contention that the Ookla LLC is an extremely commercial enterprise and provides awards in exchange for money. Reliance Jio has also asked Ookla to declare that their results are extremely flawed.