TRAI extends date for comments on consultation paper on monopoly/market dominance in Cable TV Services

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today extended till 1 July the date for comments on its consultation paper on Monopoly/Market Dominance in Cable TV services issued on 3 June.

At the request of stakeholders, TRAI also announced that counter-comments would be received by 8 July.

The paper was aimed at wanting to know if stakeholders agree that the State should be the relevant market for measuring market power in the cable TV sector or suggest alternatives.

In the first place, TRAI which said it had issued the paper at the instance of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, wanted to know if stakeholders agree that there is a need to address the issue of monopoly/market dominance in cable TV distribution and how the ill effects of monopoly/market dominance can be addressed.

The paper contains a series of fifteen questions touching various aspects.

TRAI has sought to know whether, to curb market dominance and monopolistic trends, restrictions in the relevant cable TV market should be based on area of operation or based on market share.

Those who feel it should be based on area of operation will have to specify how the area of a relevant market ought to be divided amongst MSOs for providing cable TV service.

Those who feel it should be based on market share, what should be the threshold value of market share beyond which an MSO is not allowed to build market share on its own. Furthermore, how this can be achieved in markets where an MSO already possesses market share beyond the threshold value. Furthermore, TRAI wants comments on the suitability of the rules defined in the paper in this connection.

Stakeholders have to give their views about the threshold values increase indicated by the regulator, or suggest defining restrictions.

TRAI wants to know if ‘control’ of an entity over other MSOs/LCOs be decided according to the conditions mentioned in the paper or suggestion on alternatives.

Stakeholders wanting different restrictions to curb market dominance have been asked to suggest these.

TRAI has also sought to know whether the parameters listed by it in the paper are adequate with respect to mandatory disclosures for effective monitoring and compliance of restrictions on market dominance in Cable TV sector, and the periodicity of such disclosures.

The regulator wants to know of any amendments to be made in the statutory rules/executive orders for implementing the restrictions.

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