TDSAT junks Trai’s predatory pricing order

The telecom tribunal rejected the regulator’s order that had changed the definition of ‘significant market power’ (SMP) to identify predatory pricing, offering substantial relief to India’s older telcos.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) also set aside a rule in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) predatory pricing regulation that required top telcos to report all tariffs in the interests of transparency and non-discrimination.

About TDSAT:

In order to bring in functional clarity and strengthen the regulatory framework and the disputes settlement mechanism in the telecommunication sector, the TRAI Act of 1997 was amended in the year 2000 and TDSAT was set up to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals with a view to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector.

In January 2004, the Government included broadcasting and cable services also within the purview of TRAI Act. The jurisdiction of TDSAT stands extended to matters that lay before the Cyber Appellate Tribunal and also the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal.

The Tribunal consists of a Chairperson and two Members appointed by the Central Government.

The Chairperson should be or should have been a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court.

A Member should have held the post of Secretary to the Government of India or any equivalent post in the Central Government or the State Government for a period of not less than two years or a person who is well versed in the field of technology, telecommunication, industry, commerce or administration.

The Tribunal exercises jurisdiction over Telecom, Broadcasting, IT and Airport tariff matters under the TRAI Act, 1997 (as amended), the Information Technology Act, 2008 and the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.

The Tribunal exercises original as well as appellate jurisdiction in regard to Telecom, Broadcasting and Airport tariff matters. In regard to Cyber matters the Tribunal exercises only the appellate jurisdiction.

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