Fast Way is first MSO to get penalised by CCI

MUMBAI: The Competition Commission of India has sent out a clear warning that multi-system operators (MSOs) can‘t leverage their dominant presence in a particular area by bullying broadcasters.

In a landmark decision that can have grave implications in the cable TV industry, the CCI has penalised Fast Way, the first MSO to get the whip for abusing its dominant position.

The competition watchdog has imposed a fine of Rs 84 million on Fast Way Group for misusing its dominant position in Punjab and Chandigarh in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.

The order was passed pursuant to investigation carried out by the Director General of CCI on a complaint filed by Kansan News, the owner and operator of ‘Day and Night News‘, which operates in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The Commission held that Fast Way Group with more than 85 per cent of the total subscribers in Punjab and Chandigarh abused its market power by denying Kansan News the opportunity to transmit their channel on its network.

CCI has imposed penalty on Fast Way Group entities, Fast Way Transmission, Hathway Sukhamrit Cable & Datacom and Creative Cable Network at the rate of six per cent of their average turnover for the last three preceding financial years.

The MSO has been directed to deposit the penalty amount within 90 days.

The Commission has also directed that the entities should ‘cease and desist‘ from indulging in anti-competitive practices which have the effect of denial of market access.

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